Friday, June 3, 2011

Is Murfreesboro Road's Out of Bounds Bar and Grill Nashville's Own Modern-Day Wild West Saloon?

Posted by on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 11:22 AM

out_of_bounds.JPG
According to a police affidavit attached to a padlocking order effectively shuttering until further notice a perennially raucous South Nashville watering hole, Out of Bounds Bar and Grill has, in fact, taken up the mantle of the frontier saloon, where gun-play, staggering intoxication and other random acts of violence are woven into the fabric of its very existence.

The public nuisance order, issued Thursday, will render a stretch of Murfreesboro Road that once echoed with pistol reports, soused screaming and revved motorcycles eerily quiet. Gardner and James Dixon, the owners of this contemporary Dodge City booze-house — which kind of looks like a Chili's — will have their day in court Wednesday.

But first, let's take a look back at some memorable moments at the guns-in-bars microcosm (paying attention, Sen. Doug Jackson?) and its surrounding, broken-bottle strewn parking lots, as told by Metro Police:

We'll start in January 2010, with an at-gunpoint robbery in the parking lot, where the victim first noticed the assailant standing in front of the building. Then, in February 2010, there was the large, menacing crowd amongst whom several pistols were seen flashing. Later that month, there was a report of some 15 to 20 gunshots fired at the club, patrons fleeing in all directions. Over the next two months, two armed robberies occurred across the street at another restaurant and as a couple exited the bar.

In June, police were called to the club because someone was shot in the back in the parking lot. There was yet another armed robbery in July. A few months later, a man was ejected from the club for carrying a 9mm pistol. When questioned by police, he said he'd paid a guard $20 to be allowed to bring it inside. He also apparently had photographs of himself in the club, brandishing the gun.

The following month, there was a 25- to 30-person melee in the parking lot. Police assistance was requested. By January 2011, a call came into police reporting loud music blaring outside. Sitting across the street, his blue lights flashing, a Metro officer then heard several shots coming from behind the building. A security guard told police a man wanted to post footage of himself discharging the weapon on YouTube.

The next month, another man was shot in the back. In March, another Metro officer was nearby when shots rang out near the club. According to the report, a rowdy patron had been kicked out and, in indignation, fired several shots into the air. The same month, someone was shot in the foot. But the beginning of the end came May 6, when a man leaving the club was shot to death in a nearby parking lot.

Those were just the highlights, of course, not including the many scuffles, the assault with broken glass bottles on May 13 and the many drug arrests on the premises. Nor does it account for the late-hour reveling in adjacent parking lots unauthorized for bar patrons' use; the Mapco attendant who says patrons flood his store after Out of Bounds closes, vomit everywhere, grab what they can and dash without paying; or the residents of nearby apartment complexes who fear catching stray bullets on weekend nights.

So what do you think, Pith readers? Is the District Attorney General overreacting, as the club owners' lawyer says? Is Out of Bounds a hive of scum and villainy, or is this all just good, clean fun?

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