Neighbors' ire grows over unauthorized club on Minneapolis' Lake Street

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2011 - 7:57 PM

Raucous parties, including one that seemed to advertise sex, are staples at the Lake Street commercial building.

For neighbors of the unauthorized nightclub on East Lake Street, the last straw was the "Ladies Lockdown" party featuring male dancers set to "please your every fantasy."

The event took place this summer at 3318 E. Lake St., a concrete-block commercial building that has attracted numerous complaints about noisy parties and unruly behavior. In the past six months, 29 police calls were made to the building for loud music, fights and weapons. The most recent police call to the building was on Saturday.

"The neighborhood has been trying to stop them for six months now," said Dave Hoenack, a nearby resident who once leased the same building for his business, Hymie's Vintage Records. He now operates a short distance away.

Hoenack said he found it discouraging that the problems have gone on for so long. He said city inspectors have checked on the property but usually don't find anything going on when they stop by. Meanwhile, online advertisements and posters hung at several bars in downtown Minneapolis blare the next upcoming party, complete with alcohol prices.

The neighborhood complaints come three months after police shut down a different after-hours club on E. Lake Street near Minnehaha Avenue. The raid turned up drugs, wanted criminals and at least one weapon.

Now the authorities are turning up the heat on 3318 E. Lake. Police Inspector Lucy Gerold, who runs the police department's Third Precinct, said authorities collected evidence this past weekend into the activities there. City inspectors who went to the property on Friday found alcohol sales and "entertainment," according to city licensing inspector Julie A. Casey in an e-mail to City Council member Gary Schiff. Casey did not describe what sort of entertainment the inspectors found.

City records indicate the property owner is Ira Kipp of Mendota Heights and his tenant is David L. Tomlinson of Minneapolis, neither of whom could be reached Tuesday.

Tomlinson told city officials he was running a drop-in center for street youth or a community center for the GLBT community, according to city records.

Schiff said "city staff is pursuing every possible angle to deal with this illegal business." So far, that's included $1,600 worth of citations to Tomlinson for hours of operation violations and liquor violations, none of which have been paid.

The Hennepin County attorney is sending a second nuisance letter to Kipp, Schiff said. A nuisance letter, with a judge's approval, could be used to vacate the property for a year.

A resident who lives next to the club found a drunken woman in the bushes on Saturday, according to a neighborhood resident.

That pales to what apparently took place this summer when advertisements went up for the "Ladies Lockdown" party, which from Facebook descriptions appeared to be an alcohol-fueled orgy with male strippers.

"What happens @ the lockdown stays @ the lockdown," blared the Facebook page. "Condoms come out by 12:30 a.m.," the description continued.

The party had a cash bar with $1 shots and $3 drinks served up by "hot and sexy male bartenders," according to Facebook.

The party was sponsored by a company called the Big Takeover Ent., which according to Facebook and public records is run by Shawn C. Keaton of Roseville. A phone call to his listed address on Tuesday was not answered.

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters