SOUTH SIDE (KDKA) — The site of a deadly shooting on the South Side reopened Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
The former Rowdy Buck is a much different club now.
Violence has marred the city’s nightclub district on Carson Street in recent years. Even so, a deadly shooting inside the bar in May was a big shock.
Club owners, Sout Side residents, police and politicians are trying to get rid of the trouble, so the former Rowdy Buck did an extreme makeover in an attempt to make it safer.
The Rowdy Buck was once just that: a loud and rowdy dance club. But now, it’s known as Trixie’s Bar and Game Room, a place for pool and pinball.
“Now it’s a place where you hang out,” co-owner Steve Zumoff said. “We have pool. We have pinball, board games.”
Why the change? Because of a shooting that happened on May 21. Twenty-five-year-old Dahrique Smith died after being shot several times in the abdomen. Police searched for the man seen in surveillance video and eventually arrested 23-year-old Kilbrin Holyfield and charged him with homicide.
“It was [devastating],” Zumoff said. “We wanted to change it around and work for something that might be better in the neighborhood.”
So in place of the Rowdy Buck’s DJ stand sits a pool table. And it’ll be hard to get a gun inside. Drivers licenses are scanned, customers are wanded, bags are checked, and security guys are highly visible.
The changes come from the advice given by D.A. Stephen Zappala’s nuisance bar task force, and it comes as residents and business owners fear about the future in the area.
“It’s become dodge city,” one resident said. “I come home from work, park my car, leave it there. Don’t come out after dark.”
“You expect it to be a great location, and then something like that happens,” one business owner said. “It could potentially hurt us.”
But at Trixie’s, they’re trying to set an example and make Carson Street a safer place to visit.
Friday was the first full day of operation and so far, the customers seem to like the new place, but it’s a much different crowd than you’d expect at a dance club.