The owner of The Unofficial, a dive bar in St. Anthony, suddenly closed the bar down and fired all the staff, who allege he fostered a "toxic, volatile work environment."
The business posted on its Facebook page that it was closed temporarily "for some much needed updates." The comments on the post are filled with customers criticizing owner, Chris Christopherson, for allegedly mistreating his employees.
Employees say they received an email from owner Christopherson after doors were already locked Wednesday morning.
Bring Me The News was able to obtain the email, which states the reason for the closure is due to "restoring the original philosophy that made this place what it is," and accused his staff of exhibiting "childish ugliness."
According to Andrew Bauman, a former general manager at the business, it came after employees decided on their own to close the restaurant on Tuesday due to a staffing shortage. They allege they reached out to Christopherson "multiple times" before making that decision, but he failed to respond.
Christophersen responded with the email after he locked the doors, with chains placed around the handles. He offered employees to "re-apply" for their positions following the closure.
"He was always a paranoid owner that often thought people were conspiring [against him]," Bauman said.
Bauman also alleges staff were abused by Christopherson towards employees during his time there, before he walked away from the position last week.
"One instance [Christopherson] asked an employee a question and he didn't like the answer, so he threw an entire BLT sandwich at the employee's face," he said, noting the employee was a teenager. "People began to leave as they couldn't take it anymore."
Employees claim he was not doing enough as a kitchen manager to keep the kitchen stocked up on food. One former employee told Bring Me The News they would regularly run out of key ingredients such as "mayo, eggs, burgers and fries."
The former employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told Bring Me The News that the owner was verbally abusive towards staff and wouldn't help during the dinner rushes.
"He would do weird things like cut down small trees in the parking lot or weld a shelf," the employee said.
"He is a volatile and toxic, and you never know what version of him you're going to get."
Bring Me The News reached out to Christopherson but have yet to hear back.