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Owner closes JUUT in Uptown, cites 'escalating crime and violence'

JUUT is closed after 35 years at the Hennepin and Lake Street location.
3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - August 2017

Citing an increase in violence in the area, the owner of JUUT SalonSpa in Uptown is permanently closing the Minneapolis business. 

"It's a sad day, after being in business in Uptown Minneapolis since 1986 we decided to close due to the continued escalation of crime and violence in our neighborhood. I would be heartbroken if any of our team or clients got hurt," David Wagner announced on Facebook

"It has become more and more evident that Uptown continues to struggle with store closings, social unrest, crime, and street closures," an announcement on the business's Facebook page stated. "We would be heartbroken if anything were to happen to our team members or clients. With that at the forefront, we made this difficult decision, knowing it was what was best for the JUUT family."

Located at the northeast corner of West Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue, JUUT is near the parking ramp where deputies assigned to a U.S. Marshals Service task force fatally shot 32-year-old Winston Boogie Smith on June 3. 

Protesters have gathered daily since Smith was shot to death. At approximately 11:39 p.m. Sunday, just hours after Wagner announced the plan to close the salon-spa, a man driving an SUV plowed through the crowd of protesters, killing a woman and injuring at least three other people. 

The driver was apprehended by protesters and arrested by police.

It comes amid a wider spike in crime and gun violence across the Twin Cities and other U.S. cities, which has been observed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In recent months, Uptown has been a location for gatherings of street racing, and was also the scene of a mass shooting on Father's Day 2020 that left 11 injured.

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