Please beware of this horrible Jacksonville bar and dance club. The owner , Darrell Leake, has managed to turn many people away from this place he owns by literally bullying customers and in most cases for little or no reason at all. He's passive/aggressive and obviously has some serious mental and anger problems.
The worst part of my story is that I have actually been a REGULAR customer of 57 Heaven for nearly a decade! I had heard the stories about Darrell, but he was only rarely around the nights I would frequent the place.
Unfortunately, this Thursday I had to face the wrath of this Darrell who is actually the OWNER of the place and uses this to his advantage.
Basically, as anyone that's been to 57 Heaven knows there is a step up leading to the DJ booth which SOMETIMES has a small sign and chain on it that says no entry. However, because the place is poorly managed and Darrell can't communicate , this sign is down most of the time. As it appears to the customer, one could walk up and talk or make request with the friendly DJ. I have done this on countless occasions over many YEARS patronizing 57 heaven. I was never told or even reminded this was a problem to the owner.
Well, this Thursday Darrell, the psychopath, was hiding in the corner darkness next to the DJ booth. Like I've heard in stories , he reached out of the darkness and pulled my shoulder spinning me around. He then smacked me on the back as you would see a bouncer thug throw someone OUT of a club. Then he proceeded to verbally abuse me, curse, and call me a dumba** for "not knowing I wasn't supposed to step on the DJ booth step.
When I confronted him and asked why he grabbed my shoulder, he denied it.
I later left 57 Heaven, but asked to speak with Darrell, the psychopath. I guess I couldn't believe he was really this crazy, but I had my doubts. I simply explained to him that I meant him or his place no harm and had been going for years. However, I did explain that I was not happy he attacked me. I also went on to tell him that OTHERS have told me they will no longer go to 57 Heaven because of HIM, Darrell. I gave him the name of one of these people, which he obviously knew about. He flew into a rage at this point and made motions as if he were going to attack me. Since he's quite tall, and I wasn't ready for any fight, I was pretty shocked.
He started cursing and calling me names right there in his place during business hours in front of everyone. I immediately put my hands up and open as if to show I was not fighting this crazy foolish horrible and combative business owner. He chase me out the door , making all sorts of threats and then called me a dumba** three times and said I should know better than to f*** with him.
In my opinion, Darrell is also very SEXIST is a reverse way. At least in public, he does not dare lay a hand on a woman. I observed this as a female patron bent clear over the hanging chain at the DJ booth after crazy Darrell assaulted me. This is his way of letting out anger and he manages to get away with it because he figures the police won't believe or pay attention to two men fighting in such a situation.
However, all of Jacksonville must beware of this place , who runs it, and who works there. I've talked to numerous locals I've known for years that have been verbally and physically assaulted by the employees at 57 Heaven Atlantic Blvd. Man or woman, it's not right and in many cases it is ILLEGAL. The nut case owner, Darrell, THINKS he can get away with a lot of abuse so long as it occurs on his "property". As such, I hope someday an off duty (or on duty) police officer finds his way across Darrell's path because I can guarantee you Darrell will be hauled off to jail for doing what he did to me this Thursday.
Closing, I would encourage the others that have had problems with 57 Heaven to please SHARE. I do believe their web campaigns have sought to squelch the voice of the people they have harmed and unethically "booted" out of their place. It's not some great bar, and many people call it a dump. However, I've had some good times at 57 Heaven. It's just unfortunate that the place is owned by a complete abusive lunatic. I think his insanity also rubs off on his employees, and in some cases who he hires. I've seen this abusive trait surface in some of the bartenders as well. Hopefully, this will either change in the future or Darrell will finally meet his match and be properly hauled to jail by JSO in a set of handcuffs which is all he deserves at this point.