Denver's Beta Nightclub ordered to immediately shut down after a spate of nearby shootings

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Posted at 12:34 PM, Jan 05, 2022

DENVER — The city of Denver has yanked the licenses of another popular LoDo establishment following safety violations and a rash of violent incidents in and around the area of Blake Street.

Beta Nightclub, 1909 Blake St., was issued on Wednesday a final decision on an administrative show cause case by the Denver Department of Excise and Licensing and must immediately shut down.

This decision comes after the city suspended the license for Cabin Tap House, located next door in a building owned by Beta’s owner, following a deadly shooting on New Year's Day.

Citing public safety concerns, a hearing made the recommendation to revoke Beta’s license in December. Wednesday’s decision upholds that recommendation, the city said in a news release.

The city also said the owner, Hussam Kayali also known as Valentes Corleons, bribed police officers to help him with his legal case and claimed to be a member of the Italian Mafia to intimidate officers.

Kayali has disputed these claims.

Denver authorities began the process of revoking Beta’s license this summer after an undercover police investigation revealed several safety violations, including the hiring of unlicensed security guards, failing to keep people from bringing weapons into the venue and failing to control the crowds inside its building, according to an Aug. 31 Denver Post report.

Additionally, a series of nearby shootings over the past year has forced the Denver Police Department to beef up its presence in Lower Downtown, especially after hours when bars and clubs let out.

But Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca, who represents the district where the club is located, said she thinks the club was targeted.

"There were some incidents that happened in a parking structure that was separate from their nightclub,” CdeBaca said.

CdeBaca said the club should be responsible for what happens inside the club but not outside of the premises.

“It felt like the city was trying to establish a pattern, any pattern that they possibly could to push this nightclub out of that area,” she said.

Denver7 reached out to Kayali’s attorney to learn if the owner plans to appeal the city’s decision but did not receive an immediate response.

Beta’s owner, BMJ&J, LLC, denied any criminal activity was connected to the club and argued the city did not consider the business’s aggravating circumstances, violating Beta’s s due process rights. However, the city rejected these claims and issued the order, which goes into effect immediately.

On Sunday, Kayali shared a Facebook post which said, in part, he was “guilty of nothing except trying to do the best he could with what he was given.”

This is the first time in Denver this type of action was taken by the city since the 2017 closure of Cheeky Monk.

Denver7 reporter Micah Smith contributed to this report.