Nitty Gritty Soul Cafe agrees to safety plan after deadly shooting


Nitty Gritty Soul Café (WGHP)

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The owners of the Nitty Gritty Soul Cafe have voluntarily agreed to follow a safety plan after a fatal shooting took place at the restaurant earlier this month.

Last week, City Councilman James Taylor, who represents the area where the restaurant resides, met with residents who were concerned about a deadly shooting that occurred at the South Main Street cafe in the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 16.

Kenneth Ravon Braddy Jr., 24, of Winston-Salem, died in the shooting.

Three other Winston-Salem residents were wounded.  Carmen Lanelle Simmons, 23, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  There has been no update on the victim’s since the shooting occurred.  Barry Bevionta Richardson, 20, was taken to the hospital in serious condition, while Cortez Lenard Smith, 20, was in stable condition when he was transported.

The city will not be seeking Nuisance Abatement proceedings against the restaurant, Councilman Taylor announced Friday morning during a press briefing.

Taylor said city lawyers and lawyers for the restaurant voluntarily reached an agreement on a safety plan.

The plan involves the restaurant closing its doors to patrons at 9 p.m.  For at least a year, the restaurant would also have an off-duty officer providing security between 5 and 9 p.m.  The restaurant will also stop serving as a venue for private parties.  The city is also increasing the number of patrols that pass the restaurant’s location.

The restaurant’s owner agreed to the plan on free will, Taylor said.  It was not a forced decision.

Nitty Gritty’s manager, Timothy Best, said the shooting was the first major criminal event to happen at the restaurant since it opened seven years ago.

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