Africa Nightclub loses liquor license for 60 days, announces new management

City Commission approved an interim suspension of the Restaurant and Nightclub’s liquor license
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 12:59 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The embattled Africa Restaurant and Nightclub’s liquor license has been suspended for 60 days.

At a special city commission meeting to discuss suspending the establishment’s liquor license, Attorney Stephen Baird announced his new position as general manager of the club.

The Africa Restaurant and Nightclub is where a security guard was shot and killed in the parking lot after bar close on May 23, 2021. No one has been arrested in that case.

Fargo Police say there have been many other incidents of underaged drinking and fighting. Officers have responded to the club along 45th Street south twelve times between April and May of this year for incidents including over-intoxication, guns discharging, and assaults. Police Chief Dave Zibolski says police calls to the club are putting a strain on police resources and the business is a public safety concern.

“I have significant concerns about public safety if this establishment continues to operate under its current management and scheme,” Zibolski said.

On Tuesday, the city’s Liquor Control Board recommended suspending Africa Nightclub’s liquor license, one board member calling the situation “downright scary.” Chief Zibolski says investigators discovered that employees of the club are often times armed and have been confiscating people’s handguns.

”Nightclub security pats down customers at the door to see if they have any weapons. If a handgun is discovered, the employee will retain the handgun onsite and return it to the patron when they leave the nightclub. That is not lawful,” Zibolski said.

The man who claims to own the business, Francis Brown, asked for more time, telling Valley News Live that he and others are trying to address the concerns brought forth by the city.

At Thursday’s special city commission meeting, attorney Stephen Baird says Brown lied about being the owner, and Baird is now taking over as the club’s General Manager. Baird also said previous management has been dismissed since Tuesday’s meeting.

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