Penalties force indefinite closure of 'legendary' Mankato music bar


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.

Next Up

Knuth - Nezhad - side by side

Frey challengers Knuth, Nezhad agree to rank each other 2nd

They're urging supporters to do the same on Nov. 2.

Jerome Horton - Sherburne Co. Jail - CROP

Charges: Man lied to buy gun later used by St. Paul mass shooting suspect

He's accused of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

BCA releases investigative file in Winston Smith's shooting death

The file contains 1,000 pages of documents, hundreds of photos and dozens of audio files.


Fire at Mpls. pizza joint weeks after opening, owners suspect arson

The owners arrived at work Tuesday to find the building on fire.

vaccine, covid

New COVID charts show hospitalization, death rates based on vaccine status

The unvaccinated are far more likely than the fully vaccinated to become hospitalized or die.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

White House begins process to ban new mining near BWCAW

The stated goal is to protect the "unique natural wonder" of the BWCAW.

Autumn Merrick, Autumn Rose Merrick

Man charged in shootout, crash that killed 18-year-old on scooter

Autumn Rose Merrick was with a friend near the Holiday gas station.

D Quagon - DOC photo

DOC searching for convicted sex offender who has gone on the run

The recently released man removed his GPS monitoring device.


Mankato bar installs pregnancy test dispenser

A tavern in Mankato may be among the first in the nation to put a pregnancy test in a public rest room, KARE 11 reports, and even the pub owner agrees it seems odd. The idea came from a regular customer who is an expert in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. He says, "If it gives you an informed decision at that point in time to stop drinking – your baby is going to be better for it."