Arts Desk

Tommy Wells on Call to Close Fur and Ibiza: “Maybe I’m Overreacting”

Ward 6 Councilmember (and mayoral candidate) Tommy Wells has softened on his call to shutter Fur and Ibiza. Now he's saying that the clubs should be permitted to stay open—if they clean up their act.

Early Monday morning, two cars sped by a large gathering outside the Tyler House apartments on North Capitol Street NW and sprayed the crowd with bullets, leaving 13 people injured. At least some of the victims had just returned from Fur and Ibiza, two nightclubs located a couple of blocks away. In response, Wells called for the clubs to be closed in the name of public safety.

That was not a popular idea.

After taking a lashing on Twitter for targeting two businesses with no demonstrated connection to Monday's shootings, Wells now sounds a little remorseful. "Maybe I'm overreacting," he says. He says the clubs should be allowed to stay open if they show more responsibility for the health and safety of their patrons when they leave the club. "They have to work with the community... and they have to show to all of us that they can keep their patrons safe when they leave there."

Police have not yet demonstrated a clear relationship between either nightclub and Monday's drive-by shooting, and Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier has not moved to shut down either spot. "I don't know for a fact that Fur was directly involved with the dispute, but I do know for a fact that that is where the victims had just walked home from," says Wells.

Asked whether he plans to speak publicly about the issue again, Wells says, "I don't think so. I really responded initially very quietly." But when the issue started blowing up on Twitter, he chose to respond: "I'm not sure that that was the right thing to do. But people felt like I was not paying attention, so I started [talking] publicly about it." Now, he's leaving the job to the police, and he doesn't seem so concerned about the clubs' interests. "My highest priority is protecting the residents. ... Where the clubs fall into that is where they fall into that."

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Frederick Douglass

    Just what DC needs...another act first, possibly think later baby-fenty moron running the city...

  • noodlez



  • SMDH

    Tommy Wells is a clown! His ambition to be Mayor is absolutely laughable.

    Now he is back peddling after stating he is going to do everything he can to shut down not only Fur but Ibiza also. What an idiot! And what about the business owners who are as much a victim of this as anyone. Wells you are delusional if you ever think that you will be Mayor.

    Why don't you grandstand yourself on H Street where there was just a shooting this weekend. Demand that those businesses be shut down as well. Clown!

  • JM

    I think he got it about 1/3 right. The correct response would be to shut down FUR/Ibiza, Tyler House, AND Big Ben.

  • Rad

    Yay for Tommy Wells realizing that he was overreacting. I don't go to those clubs anymore, but when I did, there were overwhelmingly non-violent people there.

  • Ward 6 Resident

    Just another example of spineless Tommy Wells, the would be mayor. Rush to make headlines before one knows all the facts, then back track immediately when questioned. DC would do better with an empty chair for Mayor than electing this clown. Wells is a man of no substance, just a lot of hot air.

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  • Dan

    This clown belongs in the circus.

  • Mr.Remember

    This is the same guy, who left his bike unlocked in front of Eastern High School. He walked off and returned about 5 hours later, didn't see his bike and reported it stolen. As you would know, it was not stolen but Principal Chiselom, who saw the unattended bike brought it inside for safe-keeping, so that it would not be stolen. When he was reunited with his bike he made this crazy remark of I am glad it was stolen and he rode-off into the sunset.

  • Mr.Remember

    *correction* he was glad that it wasn't STOLEN.


    I guess that's why he rides a bike because he probably would leave the keys in his automobile.

  • Tosspot forTommy

    Imagine that, a second stage alcoholic who is not in recovery over reacting. What's next? A stoner with the munchies.

    @Mr.Remember, he rides a bike because he is less likely to get arrested than if he were driving a car.

    @ Ward 6 Resident, "DC would do better with an empty chair for Mayor than electing this clown. " An empty chair, isn't that what we have now?

  • jimbo

    They must have given him free drinks.

  • oldbiddie


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  • Ward 6 Residents

    We for sure need to shut down both Ibiza and FUR. I hear FUR has already been bought for more luxury housing and will be closing at the end of next year. 1) Thank goodness 2) I'm seriously hoping these same people buy out Ibiza. We need to get the "riff-raff" out of this up and coming neighborhood. The clubs belong over on MN Ave. or near college campuses - where their clients already are. It would be a win-win. The clients wouldn't have to travel to the clubs, and the respectable patrons who now live in the NoMa neighborhood can rest easy. Young, hard-working professionals belong here, not nasty establishments like Ibiza and FUR. I know a lot of people who will back Wells' decision to shut these places down. Thank ou Mr. Wells!!!