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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Stay of execution over for former site of troubled bar

After winning a temporary reprieve earlier this year, the building at 1723 E. Wayne that formerly housed the violence-plagued Sports and Spirits bar will finally be coming down. (File photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)
After winning a temporary reprieve earlier this year, the building at 1723 E. Wayne that formerly housed the violence-plagued Sports and Spirits bar will finally be coming down. (File photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, July 13, 2017 08:32 am

Targeted for demolition months ago, the former home of a violence-plagued bar will be coming down at last.

Deister Machine President Mark Deister and local faith leaders will gather near the former Sports & Spirits location at 1723 E. Wayne St. Monday morning for a remembrance ceremony prior to the demolition of the bar that closed in fall 2016 after three people were killed and two wounded in a shoot-out there.  According to police records, officers were called to the bar 436 times in the last 10 years. Twelve shootings were reported in that time, along with seven stabbings and 19 reports of shots being fired. The problems caused the Allen County Alcoholic Beverage Commission to revoke its liquor permit in 2014, that that decision was overturned by a hearing officer who warned owners to curb the violence there.

As The News-Sentinel first reported in March, the Deister Machine Co., which is headquartered nearby and makes shaking equipment used by mines and quarries, originally intended to buy the property and erect a 17-foot electronic company sign at the site. That request was later withdrawn.

In response to the five shootings last Sept. 13, Deister began efforts to buy and remove the bar and erect a memorial to the tragedies that took place there.

"It will be better for the community if the building is demolished," he said in a statement. By buying the tavern, tearing it down, and putting up a nice sign displaying messages of public interest, Deister Machine hopes to turn a negative factor in the neighborhood into a positive one."

The intersection of East Wayne and South Anthony Boulevard will be closed for the demolition.

 

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