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Bismarck Night Club owner looking for answers to abrupt closure

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 6:57 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A Bismarck night club owner is searching for answers after his business was abruptly closed.

He claims city leaders misused their powers, while others say it was for the public’s safety.

The Sahara Night Club did occupy a department store space at the Gateway Mall.

The club was only open on Saturdays.

Sahara Night club owner Ivan Makuve says he was forced to shut the night club down following a fight in his parking lot, leaving him wondering who made that decision.

In a Facebook post, Bismarck police say 14 patrol officers responded to the night club on Sept. 13, for a large fight that left a man unconscious with a head injury.

“These guys that fought, they are probably not patrons of ours, so we’re not going to put my security at risk outside,” said Makuve.

Makuve says he arranged to hire two more security guards after the altercations.

However, three days later his club was shut down.

“Prior to that big fight there were a lot of concerns from neighbors. And there are other tenants in that building with concerns as well, because they share the parking lot and the common space,” says Steven Bakken, Mayor of Bismarck.

Bakken said he made a call to the mall owner, Raymond Arjmand, a close acquaintance of his, after the fight.

“I reached out to him to find out more information about that business in his property and to find out or to let him know some of the concerns that were conveyed to me,” said Bakken.

Arjmand declined to comment on the conversation, but Makuve says Bakken never approached him with community concerns.

“Whether he did it knowingly or not knowingly it still doesn’t make it right because once the mayor calls it’s an official call, saying this thing has gotten out of control,” said Makuve.

Bakken said he didn’t have a way to contact Mukave, and had no intention of shutting the club down.

“I was just in the process of starting to find out what was going on in the businesses, and how can we come up with solutions within the community,” said Bakken.

Arjmand pulled the lease on Sahara Night Club, closing it on Sept. 15.

“The mayor said that he is going to find us a building or he is going to talk to the owner of the building and get us back into the building and we are going to hold him to it,” said Makuve.

Makuve hopes to re-open his night club again once the city’s concerns are resolved.

Makuve and Bakken are expected to meet later this week to come up with a solution.

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