LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - After multiple shootings over the years, the event space Cole’s Place remained open as a nightclub in west Louisville. Now, owner John Cole wants to close the doors for good after two men were shot and killed there Sunday morning.
After more than a decade of parties and events held in Cole’s Place, the future of the west Louisville event center is unknown.
Cole’s son, Jonathan, said there are a couple of options they have for the future of Cole’s Place.
”We looking to either selling the business, selling the location to any of the warehouses around, the railroad companies or something to see if anybody wants to buy the property,” he explained.
He said selling the property is the last resort.
Jonathan Cole and others, like Richard Whitlock Jr., believes the west Louisville community will suffer if Cole’s Place disappears.
”Mr. Cole is not just a black leader,” Whitlock said. “He’s a community leader, and it’s really a shame the amount of violence that has happened at Cole’s.”
Whitlock said the event center represents the total opposite of what happened early Sunday morning when two men were shot and killed outside of a party.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the two victims as 26-year-old Robert Webb Jr. and 29-year-old Juan Foster.
“What’s going on in Black clubs in the West End isn’t because of the club owners,” Whitlock added. “It’s because of systematic failure.”
In 2012, John Cole led a meeting that created The Office of Safety and Healthy Neighborhoods, a team focused on decreasing violence in the city.
Despite Sundays shooting and past violence at the event center, Whitlock said west Louisville needs Cole’s Place, and he’s hoping the center stays open.
”It’s a place for people who don’t have a place,” Whitlock explained. “That’s what Cole’s represents majority of the time when there aren’t instances of violence and murder.”