Nightclub shooting taking a toll on downtown businesses

The shooting at Power Ultra Lounge is affecting area businesses, causing some to close like The Veg.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The shooting at Power Ultra Lounge is taking a toll on a popular local restaurant just getting off their feet. The Veg, unfortunately, got caught in the crossfire of the club being shut down.  

The owner told THV11 he thinks economic development downtown will continue to thrive but said he's also worried not enough businesses are truly invested in deterring the issue perhaps because it hasn't affected them yet.

“We just had a tragedy happen, it was really unexpected,” said owner Shiem Swift, "nowaday's people are little desensitized to the violence."

Saturday's shooting at Power Ultra Lounge has created a domino effect that this business is dealing with directly. Many local businesses in the downtown area seem to be operating just fine despite the incident over the weekend. The Veg, however, is not as lucky.

"I don't know the details or anything because we weren't there,” said Swift, “but violence of any type is unnecessary and uncalled for. Sometimes small businesses or lower guys get caught in the crossfire.”

If you google the restaurant online you'll see it no longer has operating business hours, and that it is permanently closed. The Veg was located right underneath the Power Ultra Lounge.  

“We're fighters, I've always fought. If you know me, you know I don't quit,” Swift said.

He told us things were off to a good start, the restaurant was short lived in its new home for only 2 months.

“The media was picking up on it really well. We did Arkansas Life, the Gazette was nice to us last week. The news stations came out to support us. We were having a packed house,” Swift told THV11 reporter Brejamin Perkins.

Other local businesses in the area are encouraging the community to continue pressing forward. Bella Vita Jewelry issued this statement online:

“Pease don't let this keep you from coming downtown. We are open for business, and we're willing to bet the rest of our hard-working, locally-owned cohort are too."

A go-fund-me has been created for The Veg.

If you know of any available locations or food trucks, contact the restaurant through their Facebook page, The Veg LLC.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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