Maplewood City Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to close the Stargate nightclub for an indefinite period after a violent clash last week in which more than 70 shots were fired and five people were wounded.
The club will remain closed until the owner, Paul Xiong, completes a lengthy list of city-verified updates to the nightclub and its security protocol. On Monday, the council will address whether it will suspend or revoke the club’s liquor license.
“Many people just want Stargate closed down once and for all,” Mayor Nora Slawik said. “But the simple fact is that we’re not legally able to do so.”
Xiong bought the club in April 2016, but Stargate has had a history of violent incidents. Now, after the hearing, he said he’s done with it.
“I love it,” Xiong said of the closure. “Let’s close the club down because this business is a lot of mess, and we need to close it.”
Despite his comments, club manager Maysea Xiong asked the council to let the club remain in business.
“I’m asking that our door be open so that we can generate revenue to fix the place up and be in compliance” with code requirements, Maysea Xiong said.
She blamed the recent melee on the club’s patrons and an entertainment contractor.
“There’s a strong, direct correlation with this promoter and the type of crowd that came to Stargate and what happened outside that day,” she said, referring to the fight that spilled into the parking lot.
Council members noted that they met with Paul Xiong after a June 2016 shooting incident in Stargate’s parking lot. In an action plan the council provided to him, it recommended that he consider safety and security before booking entertainment or events.
If the club’s liquor license is not revoked Monday, the site would have to pass building code, fire, health and safety inspections before resuming business. The owners also would need to hire a security manager, improve video surveillance, install an alarm on the club’s emergency exit, require government-issued IDs for entry and discontinue the use of glassware and bottles.
After the hearing, Paul Xiong expressed frustration. He questioned what can be done with so many people owning guns.
“In this country, everybody has guns,” he said. “So there’s shooting in the theaters and shootings in the elementary schools. In order to stop guns, you have to eliminate guns.”
The club has had a history of problems, some of which predate his ownership. Incidents include a 2011 stabbing and a May 2015 incident in which a 20-year-old was shot and killed by a Stargate security guard.
Staff writer Erin Adler contributed to this report.
Gabriel Sanchez is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.