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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Problem Frogtown bar faces multiple 30-day closures

Topic requested...Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Anonymous Topic requested said...

The Moonlight Magic Bar is likely to be shut down from Aug. 5 to Sept. 3 over alleged license violations. A second 30-day closure is likely to be considered by the City Council.

By CHRIS HAVENS, Star Tribune

Last update: July 14, 2009 - 8:36 PM

The St. Paul City Council will decide today whether to turn off the lights temporarily at a Frogtown bar that has experienced a homicide, shootings and assorted alleged license violations over the past three months.

The Moonlight Magic Bar, on the corner of Thomas and Western avenues, faces a 30-day closure, from Aug. 5 to Sept. 3, and a $2,000 fine for alleged license violations recorded on May 15, June 12 and June 14. The bar will also face a second 30-day closure and $2,000 fine because of violations recorded July 5. The penalties are sought by the city's Department of Safety and Inspections, which describes the incidents in letters dated June 16 and July 9.

"I can't think of another time that we have asked for similar penalties, nor have we seen such a number of alleged violations in such a sort period of time," said Christine Rozek, deputy director of the inspections department.

Owner Moua Yang did not return calls Tuesday, and city documents said owners have not responded to the allegations.

Separate from the license violation claims, the city attorney's office has threatened a lawsuit that could shut down the bar for a year if "nuisance behavior" isn't stopped. A June 19 letter from City Attorney John Choi cites three incidents involving gunplay. His letter did not include the May 10 beating death of Tai Yang, 20, outside the bar. Seven people face murder charges in that incident.

The recent complaints, ranging from not using metal detectors on patrons to staying open too late, are troublesome, said City Council Member Melvin Carter III. "I'm hopeful this action will give us some time to work out the concerns so when the suspension is over we can figure out how the bar can operate in the neighborhood in a way that enhances the neighborhood," Carter said.

"We've had problems with this bar in the past, but this is the first time we've had owners who didn't immediately clean up their act when they had problems," said Tait Danielson Castillo, executive director of the District 7 Planning Council. He added that many neighbors are fine with the city shuttering the bar.

It's the second major crackdown the city has pursued against a saloon in the past three years.

In 2006, the city attorney's office filed a nuisance lawsuit against Diva's Overtime Lounge after a murder and shooting and numerous police calls that year. The city dropped its claim after the bar's owner agreed to clamp down on problems.

In 2007, the council voted unanimously to revoke the Rice Street bar's liquor license after months of controversy over its role in the community. Diva's then closed.

Last June, police and the inspections department beefed up monitoring of the city's most violent bars. There are nearly 260 places that sell alcohol in the city.

Police have been summoned to the Moonlight more than 400 times since January 2000.

The bar -- built in 1890, according to Ramsey County records -- opened as a neighborhood tavern and dance hall. It operated under various names including the Blues Saloon, Lucy's and Wilebski's, and featured such notable musicians as John Lee Hooker, Etta James and Willie Dixon. It opened as the Moonlight in 2004.

Chris Havens • 612-673-4148

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People would not have to go out side at the Bar, but a friend of the people Dave Thune made sure no one` could smoke indoors.
More trouble around Bars because of this NO Smoking Ban.
Sig's have a "relaxing" agent in them when people are drinking!
City Council Members are the blame for the disturbance at Bars, government control has gone to far in our lives.
The "SMOKING BAN" has caused hardship for Bar owners and the people that once attended the Bars.
Any Crime Here Is By Bad Judgement By The City Council Members and The Mayor.

Was I Loud Enogh, I'm indoors.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Moonlight Ord_Consent Agenda said...

Consent Agenda without public hearings is unconstitutionally vague, Challenged by Bill and Sharon both Mayoral Candidates

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



I recall Diva's Bar had one problem and they closed the doors.

Is The Moonlight Magic Bar property worth anything now, and how about down the line when the lite rail is up and running.

Maybe they pick on certain bars, and who owns if it now.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the link that Sharon sent about what has gone on in the bar.

The council has to take action when bars are mismanaged.

What would you have them do?


Chuck Repke

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Orley QuoWarranto Obama said...

Chuck Thanks for reading, Another RICO law suit by Dr.Orley v. Obama
Quo Warranto will also be used against City St.Paul
Submitted for Educational Purposes on the Graves of our Military

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other thing folks the bar didn't dispute the findings or the proposed consequences.

That on a day that another bar that went to a ALJ had the penalty dropped. Meaning that you can fight City Hall and win if you actually have a case.


Chuck Repke

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Metel detectors on patrons ? Just what law requires this ?

After 9/11, all courthouses installed metal detectors.

Is the city trying to require bars to comply with State or Federal laws that require metal detectors because of 9/11 ?

Can the city pick and choose which bars have to use metal detectors ?

Seems like arbitrary enforcement if you ask me.

If the bar places a typical sign
that says " this bar bans guns " then the bar shouldn't be tagged.

I am aware of the law on cameras that need to be placed outside the structure,but not metal detectors.

Now the bar has to hire someone just to wave a wand on everyone and that may interefere with personal liberties and actually provoke an incident.

Jeff Matiatos

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your very close friend Dave Thune started kissing up to some people by starting a smoking ban, now say what you wish.
That would be almost the same as taking food from the people and you would get hustle crime from .
Smoking is a sedative to people and without it more fight's occur
It doesn't make a difference where the bar is, trouble can occur.
Anytime or anywhere crime can happens.
What if this same thing happen to you in your home, the city wouldn't toss you out for 30 day.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" smoking is a sedative " .
So cigarretes are a drug ? You should work for the FDA. And, kick your drug habit.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use metal detectors at all downtown bars and
enforce " this bar gun ban"
and not just sign.
All bars have to treat people equal, or non can use detectors.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous AG v.Nat.Arb said...

Hey Guys the DFL AG Lori Swanson is suing in Hennepin Co. Nat. Arbitration, R Tim Pawlentys Wife resigned as a Judge and went to work for them for approx 2 months
Where is Mary Pawlenty today

Who said not a dime's worth of difference Another Bar Issue the Eagles Arie 33, 9 thous Tax Delinquent, lost their Gambling and Cig. License,Now after 82 yrs the Ladies Aux pulled their Charter, Affiant moving to Mpls 34

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Section 225 of the St.paul code on weapons. Nothing about metal detectors.

Jeff Matiatos

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

My research of the code only talks about rules for metal detectors in skyways not bars.

See chapter 140 of the code.

Jeff Matiatos

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time get off this topic Jeff aka the know it all has once again taken over!

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:49 Jeffs just a wannabe nothing in society that needs to get a life

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Chapter 274 of the code talks about obsenity.

I guess then no theaters can show rated R movies and or those films would to have approval from the city ?

The code is littered with very questionable ordinances that infringe upon your constitutional rights.

Regarding the subject at hand, I can see how the city arbitrarily attempts to enforce rules that don't exist or do exist in one form but don't apply to other situations.

This metal detector question does seem to raise an eyebrow or two.

Jeff Matiatos

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

11:49, unless you have somthing important to say, beat it.

You don't like the fact that I post here then you will just have to suffer.

I know that the more I post as far as your concerned, I can affect your little pee brain emotions.

Your contributions to society are nothing.

You are an anonymous, nameless, and faceless no-nothing that could stand to learn something.

Tell us what you know ?

Jeff Matiatos

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Stumpy said...

"If the bar places a typical sign
that says " this bar bans guns " then the bar shouldn't be tagged."

What good would this so.......the gul play was outside of the bar!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well rocket man, the gun activity must have been on the bars property outside the bar .

Ever consider that 1:36 p.m. ?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when is the public sidewalk and the street out in front belong to bar?

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The report doesn't say side walk or street you dolt.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First folks there were conditions on the license that patrons had to be wanded and that there had to be security. That normally means they had earlier violations and agreed to these conditions on their license to keep a license. They have since violated those conditions.

It has nothing to do with people smoking outside, where ever in the heck that came from.

This is about being a resonsible license holder or losing your license.


Chuck Repke

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Chuck, the city can not ( but they do anyways ),as pre conditions to getting a license, requires folks to do what the laws don't say they have to do.

So every little bar and pub has to have a security and wand their patrons ?

Thats not what the laws permit the city to enforce.

These bar owners that agreed to these conditions waived their right to not have to do something the city couldn't legally require them to do.


Jeff Matiatos

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Chuck, when a city or government entity pre-conditions the issuance for a liscence based on laws that don't exists as the result of previous violations, thats called trying to enforce ex-post facto laws, which in this case, the city has violated the Ex-Post Facto clauses of the respective constitutions..

See U.S.Constitution Article 1 claus 10 and Minnesota Constitution Article 1 claus 11.

See State of Minnesota vs. Hillbrant A05-820 Mn.Ct.of Appeals.

These bar owners could use some better legal advise.

Jeff Matiatos

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These conditions are put in place after the establishments violates existing ordinance.

The agreement goes something like this,

"Seeing this your third underage violation in two months, instead of revoking your liquor license, your liquor license will be valid under the following conditions..."

Actually its written in more legalese than that.

Point is, there are a limited number of liquor licenses which are controlled by the city.

You can buy the building and business but, its the city that grants the license to sale liquor.


5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In reference to your statement:
"Chuck, when a city or government entity pre-conditions the issuance for a liscence based on laws that don't exists as the result of previous violations, thats called trying to enforce ex-post facto laws, which in this case, the city has violated the Ex-Post Facto clauses of the respective constitutions."

It does exist, check out City of St Paul Code Chapter 409. Intoxicating Liquor

Its a long one, read through it and you'll see the power is there to deny anyone a license for any reason. Its within code and constitution.


5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be checking it out.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Any inclusions in the city code of laws or restrictions must not be vague.

If we are to believe you Eric that the city can deny a license for
" ANY REASON " then the code or law must proscribe what conduct is unauthorized and what remedys the city may take (not just anything) and it should at a minimum be listed in the law or code.
Otherwise it violates the " Void for vagueness doctrine ".

The words metal detector are not used so i would argue that the code is void under the doctrine for specificity.

Jeff Matiatos

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The report doesn't say side walk or street you dolt."

The report may not say it but that's where the trouble and gunfire happened to have occured.

Now take back calling me a dolt.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Its a long one, read through it and you'll see the power is there to deny anyone a license for any reason. Its within code and constitution"

It may be within the code but I doubt if it's legal. They cannot deny people anything for "any reason." You ever hear of equal protection under the law?

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The report doesn't say the trouble and gunfire happened there so your still a dolt.
If it did, why did the bar get blamed for it ? Does it explain that ?

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't argue with me about the constitutionality of the ordinances. There is a legal process which each one goes through so that it does uphold the constitution before it voted upon.

Equal protection?

Equal protection under law refers to rights as an individual.

As you thoroughly demonstrated in the thread against the landlords, you don't have a right to own a business in St Paul.
If you want to own one, these (codes regulating that type of business) are the rules you must follow- if you do not, you jeopardize your privilege of running that business.

Its not unequal protection because everyone who wants to run a similar business is presented with the rules and agree to operate that business within the rules. When they run afoul of those agreed upon rules, the sanction is within the jurisdiction of the city and ultimately the people (through their representation on the council). Just like when we break the law, we go before a judge and there are a number of things that can happen.

Slow down counselor, and read the code and know that we are talking about an entity not a person.

Anyway Jeff, you can bet Bill and others will be on here to thank you for making the argument for them in favor of landlords doing whatever they want.


7:34 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Landlords " can " do " whatever" they want so long as the city isn't trying to enforce ex-post facto laws against them and the landlords are in compliance with post grandfather laws that are constitutional and not discriminatorily enforced.

Jeff Matiatos

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff pull your head out of your ass your looking like an idiot! Have you ever even owned property or business?

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Matiatos said...

Ok Stumpy . Your so dumb.

Jeff Matiatos

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Alice Krengel WON said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric said!
Equal protection?
If your not a Democrat, you will be treated different.

10:53 PM  

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