Ybor’s Club Empire Hosting Violent Event

The owner of a controversial Ybor City nightclub has not spoken publically since a murder at his establishment earlier this month. But Thursday, Joel Brewer the owner of Club Empire told 10 News the death of 20-year old Lewis Jones Jr. “breaks his heart.”

“I feel terrible for any family that has a loss,” Brewer said.

While not willing to talk about whether he would be making any additional changes to Club Empire or if he’s considered voluntarily closing the establishment, Brewer did say he’s concerned that Jones killer has still not been caught.

“I go to church and pray for the guy to turn himself in so he doesn’t hurt anybody else.”

But Jones mother insists she still wants Club Empire closed down. She was also angered to learn a mixed martial arts event is planned for the venue on Friday night. The website promoting the event also shows two monkeys with guns and Jones was not happy about that either.

“My son has not been gone not even a month and you all still trying to find different ways to bring in the crowd. I hope you lose every dime. I hope you don’t get no one in there,” Sharon Jones said.

Protesters plan to be outside Club Empire before Friday’s MMA event which begins at 8 p.m. 

A promoter associated with the event, which is being billed on posters as “cage fights” declined to talk with 10 News about the controversy surrounding the venue. But he did says the event was booked at Club Empire “several weeks” before the Oct. 2 murder and they did not consider moving the event after the shooting.