Champions closes down at Lake & Blaisdell

Champions has closed after decades at 105 W. Lake St., following the City Council’s decision to deny a liquor license for the venue.

The Council made the decision based on charges of inadequate security at the bar. The bar had 14 surveillance cameras, trespass lists and a security team, but city officials decided the efforts were not enough to combat ongoing drug dealing. A patron shot and killed a bystander during a fight at Champions last summer.

Champions’ attorney said he plans to appeal the decision.

Neighbors reached for comment said they were sorry about the closure.

“It’s been there a long time,” said Bryce Erickson, nearby Supervalu store director. “I know it had issues with calls to the police department, but it’s sad to see it go.”

A nearby resident who declined to give his name said he’s lived on Blaisdell for 22 years, and wishes the Champions site could remain as a bar under new management or a new name.

“You get used to things, and change is kind of a scary thing for some people,” he said. “A bar is a bar. You can’t expect it to be 100 percent safe. I’ve never felt afraid or anything by living here.”