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Records show the city last imposed a condition on First Avenue in 2007, when the club improperly held an after-hours event for Prince that lasted until 4:30 a.m. and required 22 police officers working overtime to disperse the crowd. Regulators fined First Avenue $1,540 and had them sign an agreement not to hold events past legal hours of operation.
Downtown security guards and clubgoers said that while some venues pat down patrons, they are not always thorough and friends of the staff can get waved through.
Geneva Richards, a performer at several nightclubs, said she’s seen security staff wave friends in.
“You show ID, but it depends on the people. … They don’t look hard at all,” Richards said.
As a regular nightclub worker and customer, she wished security officers would be more thorough.
At Spades Nightclub, where men are frisked and women are checked with a wand-type metal detector, security guard Mike Jackson said the problem happens when people fail to do proper pat-downs.
Guards at Brother’s Bar & Grill, which sits at a sometimes raucous intersection on 1st Avenue, said they do not pat people down. Instead, they keep out troublemakers by insisting on a strict dress code that makes it harder to hide a gun.
In recent years, downtown clubs Karma and Envy have also shut down after a string of violent incidents.
A shooting at Pizza Lucé in June 2013 prompted an agreement with the city that required pat-downs on all male guests after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and using electronic wands on female guests — at least for that summer.
The restaurant also agreed to allow no one under 21 in after midnight on the weekends for the next few months, while maintaining a list of banned patrons and hiring off-duty cops as needed.
“They had incidents out in the sidewalk because they have a huge following at bar close,” Wilson said. “But they were really cooperative in taking safety measures and beefing up their security program and it’s worked out.”
Maya Rao • 612-673-4210