Neighbors give thanks as club in Cape closes

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Neighbors of the Taste after-hours club expressed relief Tuesday that the business has shut down and thanked the owner for staying true to his promise.

"He's a man of his word," Margaret Kutz said of club operator Patrick Buck. "I'm very pleased that he's conscientious and honest. I'm very proud of him."

The Taste after-hours club at 402 Good Hope St. hasn't been open since shortly after a fatal shooting New Year's Day. Buck opened the club in October in a building that was once a bar called the Taste Lounge. He had said he would close the club if heavy violence occurred inside or outside the club as it had in years past.

Monday night, he told the Cape Girardeau City Council he doesn't want to fight with his neighbors and won't reopen the club.

Neighbor Dolly Schlue was thrilled to read his words in Tuesday's Southeast Missourian. She called a neighbor to spread the news.

"I think everyone is going to benefit from this -- even Mr. Buck," she said. "We accomplished a tremendous goal that is to everyone's interest. ... I'm going to appreciate this and hope everybody else does the same thing and lives in harmony."

Anton Shamon Miller, 25, was shot to death after an argument outside the club early New Year's Day. The shooting suspect, Samuel Houston, 22, of Thebes, Ill., faces charges of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. His 22-year-old brother, Shamir Houston of Cape Girardeau, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon after hospital staff found a handgun in his clothing. Both are scheduled for circuit court arraignment Monday in Jackson.

Buck said he hasn't made any new business plans beyond closing the after-hours club. The building is still owned by Michael Pryor, who operated the Taste Lounge when it sold alcohol.

mwells@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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