Two prominent Minneapolis bars announced last week they will close their doors over the failure of city leadership to adequately respond to surging violence in the city.
The After Midnight Group said it will close Cowboy Jack’s and Cowboy Slim’s, two popular downtown bars, after “experiencing the violence, vandalism and unsafe working conditions firsthand, and without receiving assurances of safety from city officials,” WCCO-TV reported.
Owners said the bars would only reopen if city leaders enact a plan that “curbs the violence happening in the streets.”
The announcement came less than a week after one person was killed and another 11 were injured in a shooting that took place near Cowboy Slim’s.
Bar owners said they reached out to city leaders — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is a Democrat, and 12 of the city council’s 13 members are Democrats — after the incident to hear how they planned to curb the violence.
However, the city had no plan, the owners said, instead advising the business to “educate patrons and staff on the lack of safety provided and the dangers that lie outside the doors,” KMSP-TV reported.
The move leaves approximately 250 workers without jobs — at least temporarily.
The Minnesota Department of Health claimed last week that Cowboy Jack’s was the site of a coronavirus outbreak. However, the bar owners said neither the MDH nor the city has contacted them about the outbreak, and they said the news played “zero” role in their decision to shutter their doors, WCCO reported.