AUSTIN, Texas - There have been 353 complaints against Austin’s El Nocturno nightclub within the past 3 years, according to City 311 data. 17 of those complaints were made after the club re-opened late last month.
Most complaints are about noise. “It’s like having a concert in my living room,” said Sky Samuelson, who lives near the club.
Seven of the 17 recent complaints have been concerns about COVID-19. “It’s been packed,” said Samuelson.
In a statement, the Austin Code department told FOX 7 Austin they visited the club twice due to recent complaints. The visits took place around 7 p.m. The club opens at 9 p.m. The code department closes at 8 p.m. “That makes absolutely no sense,” said Samuelson.
Officials say another visit took place “after hours," conducted by the PACE Team, which is made up of Austin code, fire, and police. No COVID-19 violations were found. Two recent visits made by the fire department yielded the same results.
An inspector with the PACE Team issued the property owner a notice of violation for two property maintenance violations. On Tuesday, officials called it an “active” case.
“The inspector that's assigned to the case has to witness the actual violation for a citation to be issued," the code department’s Matthew Noriega told FOX 7 Austin last week.
More than 8,000 COVID-19 complaints have been reported to the code department since March. The City’s Public Safety Dashboard shows just two citations have been filed. “I don’t think the City is doing that well of a job of enforcing their city codes,” said Samuelson.
On Wednesday, a TABC spokesperson told FOX 7 Austin the club was under investigation.
Club owner Luis Sol tells FOX 7 Austin, “we’ve been doing good on all the COVID concerns. I don’t know why they’re complaining, who is complaining. We’ve been following all the rules.”