Dubuque bar 'Players Club' battling rough reputation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque bar 'Players Club' battling rough reputation

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Players Club is in the 1900 block of Central Avenue in Dubuque Players Club is in the 1900 block of Central Avenue in Dubuque

A Dubuque bar is battling a bad reputation, following a shooting in November and, most recently, a brawl early Sunday morning that led to the arrest of six people.

It's called Players Club, and it's located in the 1900 block of Central Avenue in Dubuque.

According to data from Dubuque police chief Mark Dalsing, officers responded to the following number of disturbances each year at Players Club.

2009: 23 disturbances

2010: 40 disturbances

2011: 43 disturbances

2012: 20 disturbances

2013: 23 disturbances

"What the disturbance call could be, it might have started out with the officer just hanging outside of the bar and they saw it," Dalsing said. "It might have been a patron inside calling. It might have been some of the staff inside calling."

It was in 2010 when the Dubuque city council denied Players Club's liquor license renewal, citing a high volume of police officer responses to the establishment. The move came at the recommendation of the Dubuque police department.

Players Club owner Dave Lorenz successfully appealed that decision and has since made security upgrades.

Lorenz now has a total of 12 surveillance cameras inside and outside the bar building.

Dalsing and Lorenz said they're working closely together to help lower the number of disturbances there.

"There has been some improvement," Dalsing said. "The owner is very cooperative when it comes to providing us with video tape of the surveillance."

"Us here at Players and our security have been working very close with the police department at closing time," Lorenz said.

Dalsing said there is always a police presence outside Players Club around bar-closing time.

"Any time we have to spend a lot of time outside an establishment, it's not the preferred method for us, but there has been some improvement," Dalsing said.

He added the department also puts officers in several other busy bar spots throughout Dubuque at that same time, such as lower Main Street, University Avenue and other areas along Central Avenue.

"People think, 'Oh, it's only these bars in this area,'" Dalsing said. "People point to Players and say, 'It's the only bad place in town right now,' or, 'Central Avenue are the bars you have to watch out for.' We have complaints on every bar in town."

In the early morning of November 22, a shooting happened at Players Club that injured a man. Lorenz said his surveillance cameras show the fight likely started elsewhere, as the shooting happened very shortly after the men involved arrived at his business.

"Now that it happened here, the label falls onto us because it happened here," Lorenz said. "Timing is everything. One minute prior to that, it wouldn't have happened here."

Dalsing said any establishment that serves alcohol is at risk for fights - or worse.

"A bar that has a heavy clientele, a lot of people like to frequent it, it gets crowded, it gets hot, you mix alcohol, you mix testosterone, it's a fatal mixture sometimes," Dalsing said.

Dalsing noted Players Club itself, as a business, has had no criminal violations or charges since at least 2010. The Dubuque city council approved its annual liquor license renewal in March.

"We think they've been making some progress. We're still there a lot. We're going to be there a lot," Dalsing said. "We've been there to aide the owner, we've been there to aide his employees, so I think it's important for them to realize, too, that we're not just there to pick on clients. We're there to provide a safe location for the clients that want to have a good time and hold those that want to misbehave, hold them accountable."

Six people were arrested following the early Sunday morning fight outside Players Club, around bar-closing time. According to Dubuque police Lt. Scott Baxter, they were charged with the following.

Henry Brewer, 29, of Dubuque: Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct

Michelle Brooks, 23, of Dubuque: Interference w/ Official Acts

Corddero Hall, 22, no permanent address: Disorderly Conduct and Interference w/ Official Acts

Lamont McCauley, 40, of Dubuque: Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct. He also had an extraditable warrant for Parole Violation out of Illinois.

Ricardo McIntyre, 27, of Dubuque: Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication

Robert Wilson, 29, of Dubuque: Public Intoxication, Disorderly Conduct and Interference w/ Official Acts

As of Wednesday afternoon, McCauley and Wilson were the only two still in the Dubuque County Jail.

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