An multiple entertainment venue owner is looking to bring a similar club to Brooklyn Park, Minn., but some neighbors who live nearby say it will disrupt their lives and they're concerned about the owner's past.
John Moroni is leading a community effort to prevent a new part restaurant, part bar, part club from opening inside Creekside Plaza on 85th Avenue.
"I don't know any other place in Brooklyn Park where you have to be patted down," Moroni said.
At a recent community meeting, owner Rodney Dewalt presented his plan to open a 3,500-square-foot venue, open 5 nights a week until 2 a.m., with a $10 cover, but he needs approval from the city.
When asked about the club's vibe, Dewalt said it would be like his Oklahoma City venue, the Purple Martini, a hip-hop club. Neighbors say the genre of music is not their main concern. It's the owner's history.
Dewalt's other establishment, Fountaine Bleau in Portland was shut down in 2014 after a man died during a triple shooting inside. He's suing the city and the police force for discrimination.
Dewalt, who is African American, said in response, "These are a bunch of bigots, racists."
Most of the businesses in this strip mall will be closed by 2 a.m. when the club shuts down for the night. The owners of Anytime Fitness next to the potential venue said they're concerned about safety because of some customers' late-night workouts. The city is still considering public comment and will make a decision by April 23.