GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Alcohol is pouring at 1819 Spring Garden Street for the first time since a fatal shooting prompted the ABC Commission to strip the address’s former tenant of its ABC permits.
On July 31, Jason Leonard, a guard working at the Blind Tiger as a third-party contractor, allegedly shot and killed 19-year-old Pedro Alegria outside of the venue after a fight inside spilled over into the parking lot. Blind Tiger owner Bradford McCauley said Leonard was never allowed to have a gun at the venue.
The shooting led the ABC Commission to suspend the venue’s permanent ABC permits that it had held since 2017. After struggling to remain open without ABC permits, The Blind Tiger closed in October and was replaced by a new music venue, Hangar 1819.
A spokesperson for the ABC Commission said agents reviewed the request and confirmed that Hangar 1819, owned by Kristofer Sunico, was not linked to The Blind Tiger before approving the temporary permits.
Sunico said during an October interview that the opportunity opened up for him to buy all of The Blind Tiger at the beginning of August. He already owned a small portion.
“With their trouble, it was kind of easy for me to step in and say, ‘Hey, I will buy you out of this and make it an actual music venue,’ which is what it was intended to be,” Sunico said.
The shooting happened during an “after-hours” gathering or “club night” at the space, which Sunico says will not happen at Hangar 1819. He says the after-hours parties aren’t worth the safety risk and don’t contribute to his business long-term.
“This is a music venue. We do live music. If it’s not live music, we shouldn’t be open that day,” Sunico said.