400 Soundbar owner reportedly tells city he will close club

Site of shooting that wounded nine has a history of violent incidents.

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Several people were shot by a gunman early Saturday morning at Soundbar in Minneapolis Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. Here, police tape is discarded in the street, several hours after the shooting.

Photo: DAVID JOLES/STARTRIBUNE,

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The owner of the 400 Soundbar told city officials Monday that he does not intend to reopen the club following a weekend shooting inside that left nine people wounded.

If he changes his mind, the city could act to keep the troubled nightclub shut down for good, said Grant Wilson, the city’s director of business licensing.

“I think he is going to decide in the next day or two whether he is going to withdraw the liquor license,” Wilson said. “Otherwise, he would be going through probably some significant license action with us, as in some kind of suspension or revocation action.”

City officials have already imposed more than 20 special conditions on the business license, all relating to security and dangerous conditions, Wilson said.

Owner Johann Sfaellos could not be reached for comment Monday.

Police released no new information Monday about the shooting. Investigators have more than 50 witnesses to the shooting and collected the weapon used, according to a police report and Assistant Police Chief Matt Clark. The shooter was aiming at a specific person in the club, according to Clark, but it remains unclear what the fight was about or who exactly was involved. No arrests have been announced.

The city released its log of problems at the 400 Soundbar, including three separate agreements from 2011, 2012 and 2013 that placed restrictions on the business. The limitations came after a string of stabbings, fights, a shooting and numerous violations of city laws.

Among the past violations:

A plan last fall to host an “Erotic Rumba” Halloween party was a violation of the club’s license because the party was to include partial nudity and lingerie dancers. The business does not have an adult entertainment license.

An inspection on March 23, 2013, found that no metal detector was in use and no ID card reader was used. The bar wrote a check for $600 to cover the fine, but it bounced, according to the city.

On March 15, 2013, a woman was stabbed inside the bar at 2:09 a.m. She had a friend drive her to Hennepin County Medical Center.

That same month, a city inspector saw a woman enter the club without having her identification checked, saw no metal detector in use as required by an earlier agreement with the city and saw no staff outside to control the entrance.

Two times in December 2012, some form of “adult entertainment” took place at the nightclub in violation of city licensing requirements; the paperwork does not specify what the “entertainment” was exactly.

In January of 2012, the club was the scene of another stabbing, a shooting, a fight involving bouncers and a disorderly conduct case.

 

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

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