After COVID-19 cluster reported, bar owners cite violence for closing Cowboy Jacks and Cowboy Slims

Two bars in Minneapolis will once again close their doors citing ongoing violence in Minneapolis, the owners announced on Saturday.

According to The After Midnight Group, which owns the bars, Cowboy Jack's in downtown Minneapolis and Cowboy Slim's in Uptown will both close due to "ongoing neighborhood violence, vandalism and civil unrest" including the shooting in Uptown last weekend that left 11 people hurt and one dead, not far from Cowboy Slim's.

The closure announcement for Cowboy Jack's comes a day after the bar was identified by the Minnesota Department of Health as a COVID-19 cluster.

The statement from the owners makes no reference to health issues.

In the statement, however, The After Midnight Group says the decision was made after it reached out to the city about ongoing problems around its bars. The owners say the city in turn advised them to "'educate' patrons and staff on the lack of safety provided and the dangers that lie outside the doors."

The owners say, without a plan for more safety measures from the city, they decided to close down the bar, putting about 250 workers once again out of work.

The After Midnight Group says they aren't sure when they will reopen, only saying that the bars will remain closed until "the City of Minneapolis can ensure the safety of guests and employees as they visit/leave these establishments throughout Minneapolis."