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Penalties force indefinite closure of 'legendary' Mankato music bar

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A popular and influential music bar in Mankato has been closed indefinitely after it was hit with city penalties following a spate of crime.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the What's Up Lounge said the closure is effective immediately and that all future events at the venue on North Riverfront Drive are cancelled.

"This is a huge blow to our music scene," the statement said. "Hopefully, our scene can reclaim our rightful place in our community as we have been being pushed out by various entities for far too long."

"Thank you for all of your support and for the amazing memories created in our wonderful home," it added.

The Mankato Free Press describes the venue as being "integral to the resurgence of the music scene" in Mankato. But a flurry of crime at the second-floor venue and its ground-floor sister bar, the Oleander Saloon, has seen it hit with several penalties.

The newspaper reports the liquor license at the two bars were to be suspended for four days next month. The bar was also hit with a $2,000 penalty following increased police activity over the past 12 months, which included reports of a brawl in which two shots were fired, people drinking after hours and continuing to serve an intoxicated patron.

The Oleander Saloon will remain open while owners Casey Burns and Ian Nelson try to sell the businesses.

In the meantime, the What's Up Lounge is looking for other venues in the city which can host its cancelled shows.

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