Zen was a nightclub at 2025 Morris Avenue in downtown Birmingham, which operated from January 25, 2008 until June, 2010. It was one of a string of nightclubs and restaurants to occupy the building which incorporates old rail cars and bright red caboose. The club was owned by Adam Townsend.
On February 14, 2009 the nightclub was set ablaze by roofers torching tar over a metal roof supported by wood framing. The fire was extinguished in about 20 minutes by Birmingham Fire and Rescue. The club suffered fire, smoke and water damage and was closed for repairs.
On August 30, 2009, Kevin Felder was fatally stabbed on the club's dance floor by Harold Williams. Another fatal stabbing occurred in the same space in June 2007 when the club was under different ownership and known as The Station. Mayor Larry Langford called for the city to revoke the club's licenses, similar to the actions taken after a fatal shooting at Banana Joe's a year earlier. BPD reported 46 criminal incidents between January 2008 and September 2009, almost all of which were misdemeanors and many of which took place while the club was closed.
Following a hearing on September 22, the Birmingham City Council unanimously declared that the club was a public nuisance, revoked the owner's business licenses and ordered it shut down. Jefferson County Circuit Court judge Ed Ramsey issued an order preventing the city from enforcing the closure pending a hearing on whether the Council's actions followed due process. On June 30, 2010, Judge Houston Brown ruled that the club was, in fact, a nuisance, and allowed the city to close it down. Townsend said he would appeal the ruling to the Alabama Supreme Court, but no appeal was heard.
|2025 Morris Avenue
2008 - 2010
- Singleton, William C. III (February 14, 2009) "Welder's torch blamed for fire at Zen nightclub in Birmingham, Alabama." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (September 1, 2009) "Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford wants Morris Avenue's Zen night club closed after weekend slaying." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol & Joseph D. Bryant (September 3, 2009) "Zen Nightclub has had minor criminal incidents." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (September 23, 2009) "Birmingham City Council orders Zen Nightclub closed." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (September 25, 2009) "Zen Nightclub can stay open for now, judge says." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (June 30, 2010) "Jefferson County judge orders Birmingham nightclub closed." The Birmingham News
- Zen at MySpace