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Bronzeville, Near South Side

Troubled Renaissance Bronzeville Lounge Set To Reopen With Improved Safety, But Neighbors Have Concerns

Renaissance Bronzeville will have to follow a nuisance abatement plan to keep its doors open after a shooting in November left a patron dead and another wounded.

Bronzeville Renaissance will reopen under a strict plan designed to keep nuisances to a minimum.
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GRAND BOULEVARD — Renaissance Bronzeville may soon reopen with increased security — but neighbors said they still have concerns.

The popular South Side lounge, 4641 S. King Drive, was closed for months after a shooting in November left a man death and a woman wounded. It could soon reopen, as its owners have agreed to a safety plan with the city that they have to follow to stay open, police told residents during a 3rd Ward town hall meeting Monday.

Neighbors at the meeting said they’ve long had problems with loitering, littering and other bad behavior at and around the lounge. Resident Kimberly Butler-Brooks said she met with the owners in hopes of working out a compromise, but nothing changed and police have been slow to respond.

The club was also cited for not enforcing COVID-19 safety measures in March 2021.

The lounge’s owners, Shun Dyes and John McClendon, were not at the meeting and could not be reached for comment.

Cmd. Joshua Wallace told residents his officers will ensure Renaissance Bronzeville follows the rules agreed upon in the plan and the department welcomes calls from them about concerns with the lounge.

“We want the citizens to stay on top of this. If the police don’t show up at the response time you want, we have your call for service logged, which we can present in court” for license revocation, Wallace said.

Under the plan, the lounge’s patrons will have to pass an identification scanner and two or three identifiable security guards — one of them a woman — with metal-detecting wands prior to entering the venue, which will be outfitted with security cameras. Those cameras will be connected to the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications through its Private Sector Camera Initiative.

The lounge has 15 days to bring its cameras into compliance with the plan, Wallace siad.

Patrons are seen watching a basketball game in this photo from July 2021.

Security officers must ask loiterers to leave and patrol the area around the lounge, including its parking lot, according to the plan. Signs detailing the minimum age and dress code requirements must be prominently displayed, and owners will have to attend monthly CAPS meetings to work with the community.

The lounge’s hours of operation will be up for review in six months. 

All Renaissance Bronzeville staff will have to be aware of the nuisance abatement plan moving forward, Wallace said.

The owners have yet to share a reopening date, Wallace said.

A request to build a 375 square-foot, one-story addition and a back patio at Renaissance Bronzeville went before the zoning board in February. The board held off on approving it, tabling the matter until April 22. 

Renaissance Bronzeville opened in 2016, taking over Jokes and Notes, which had closed the same year.

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