Tired of the fighting and police calls, Louie's Bar throws in the towel

The Payne Avenue bar had more than 350 calls to St. Paul police.

The Payne Avenue bar had more than 350 calls to St. Paul police.

Louie's Bar is finally done fighting. For months the longtime St. Paul dive tried to shake a rough crowd that came to occupy the Payne Avenue haunt.

In an extreme move, the East Side tavern made headlines for adopting a 40-plus policy, refusing service to anyone young enough to have appreciated the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their prime.

Still, younger regulars who weren't the Roadhouse type could score a "VIP" pass if they were in good grace with the bartenders.

Age discrimination questions aside, the unusual tactic didn't work and Louie's was soon back to being a standard 21-and-over joint. Bar fights persisted and Louie's increasingly drew the city's ire. Manager Tony Carlson told us they had more than 350 calls to the police for drug trafficking, prostitution, and violence.

Pissing off the guys who control your liquor license is never good. In April, the city smacked 'em with a $1,000 fine for not forking over surveillance video after a woman was allegedly jumped in the men's bathroom by four other women. The bar claimed the cops never asked for it, the Pioneer Press reports.

Having already been fined for a December incident, that was strike two. The third came the following month when city inspectors caught the bar not ID'ing people and failing to have security staff present — a condition of its license.

The slip up would have meant a $2,000 fine and losing its license for 10 days. One more infraction and the city would shut them down for good. But instead of fighting their punishment, the bar threw in the towel.

On Monday, bargoers were reportedly greeted with an abruptly cordial sign, signaling Louie's had put down its dukes: "Closed forever, sorry," read the handwritten note.