A Gunman Walks into a Bar...

A rash of armed robberies afflicts Twin Cities taverns

Patrons of other joints along Randolph Avenue have taken a more proactive approach. J & P's Bar was first looted in June. Two armed, masked men entered the bar near closing time, ordered everyone to the ground, and demanded money. "They even took the girls out of the bathroom with their pants down," says bartender Julie Kozlowski. "They took everything." Kozlowski estimates that the duo made off with $700 from the bar's till.

When a lone gunman entered the bar in mid-December and again demanded money, a slightly different scenario played out. "The first one, they got the money," notes Kozlowski. "The second time we attacked them." According to Gloria Huss, who'd just finished working her shift selling pull tabs when the robber entered, several patrons jumped the man. "They broke two pool sticks over him," she recalls. "They beat him up." The man fled without getting a dime. "Scary," says Huss. "I don't want to go through that anymore."

Barroom blitz: Dusty's in Northeast was knocked off for the first time in 20 years, according to owner Pat Stebe
Paul Demko
Barroom blitz: Dusty's in Northeast was knocked off for the first time in 20 years, according to owner Pat Stebe

There's no sign that such amateur crime fighting has dissuaded any perpetrators. But until police can track down just who is responsible for the string of crimes, there may be a few more bouts of barroom justice meted out. When Dusty's owner Pat Stebe is asked if he's taken any additional security measures in the wake of the holdup, he smiles tightly: "Carry. I believe in conceal-carry."

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