Downtown Waterloo bar declared chronic nuisance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Downtown Waterloo bar declared chronic nuisance

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(KWWL) -

A downtown bar is now being called a chronic nuisance by Waterloo Police. Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka issued a nuisance letter to Club Empire, 313 W. 5th St. in Waterloo, on Wednesday.  

Police calling it a nuisance following a report of shots fired earlier this month. Nobody was hurt, but police did find a bullet hole in the business across the street at Pioneer Graphics. 

Waterloo Police say that incident in particular made the club an even bigger concern.

Police say guests with firearms were able to go inside the club past security. Chief Trelka saying the fact that the club even needs to check guests for firearms should be enough of a reason for something to change.  

Waterloo Police saying enough is enough for 313 W. 5th St, an all too familiar address for Waterloo Police.

Even neighboring business owners agree. One business owner so afraid of retaliation, he didn't want to identify himself.

"Yelling things, having fights, girls fights, boy fights, anything and everything," said one business owner. 

Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka now deeming the club a chronic nuisance, and sending that nuisance to the property owners.

Police say 23 calls for service has been made at Club Empire since January 1st. Since August of 2015, police have responded to 12 nuisance calls. 

The calls all relating to liquor violations, disorderly conduct, fighting, assault, and a shooting just earlier this month. 

That shooting happened right in front of the club. One bullet even hit the business across the street.

The owner of Pioneer Graphics says he appreciates the city taking action.  

"Customers get a little out of hand," said one business owner. "And it just happens that way. I've seen squad cars for every tenant that has been in that building."

The city is giving the property owners 10 days to respond with a plan of action. 

"Yeah it always worries me to affect my business," said one business owner. "I don't want to lose any money. And I don't want to be a bad neighbor to anybody either. But when you start costing me money, well that's when the line's drawn and i have to involve Waterloo PD to help me out or whoever I need to help me out."

Club Empire has an after-hours license.

The license allows the bar to stay open later into the morning as long as they don't sell any alcohol. Chief Trelka says he plans on talking to the Public Safety Committee about revoking that license on Monday. 

in 2013, the same property was deemed a chronic nuisance. 

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