Violations doom LV’s Twelve 22
One of Portland’s last remaining black bars is closing. LV’s Twelve 22 owner LaVon Van has announced the closing of his landmark North Vancouver Avenue establishment after withdrawing an appeal to a number of drug-related violations the nightclub faced during an ongoing police investigation this past year.
In late September, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission served Van a notice to rescind LV’s Twelve 22’s liquor license for violations that included one club employee’s unlawful attempt to deliver crack cocaine on the bar’s premises.
Van told the Portland Observer Tuesday that the historical black neighborhood restaurant and lounge will close its doors for the last time on Oct. 31, but not without a celebration looking back on the club’s community history from past to present.
Norman Sylvester Band hosts a “Back Then and Now Celebration” on Friday, Oct. 19 at LV’s Twelve 22 at 9 to 11 p.m.
When Van bought the nightclub, formerly the Royal Esquire, he implemented several changes in attempts to make the bar an inclusive neighborhood business and barbeque restaurant.
But changing the music, lifting the age of patrons, enforcing non gang clothing attire, and adding a fence around the parking lot did not seem to keep out the notorious stream of drug activity adjacent the restaurant and near the intersection of Northeast Fremont Street .
Van refuted OLCC charges that he was aware his employee, a part-time groundskeeper at the nightclub, was attempting to sell drugs outside his restaurant and said when he finally got wind of his activities in late July, he fired him.
“I am always willing to press charges against anyone doing illegal activities in my club,” he told a reporter for Oregon Music News in a related article on Oct. 5.
Van signed a trespass agreement with the Portland Police a few years ago. Apparently, ongoing police investigations lead the OLCC to present the nightclub owner with a list of six drug-related offenses committed on or near LV’s Twelve 22’s premises.