If all goes well, a city-imposed trial sanction on Neisen's Bar will soon be lifted. The bar has been under scrutiny since Feb. 21, when Savage City Council placed Neisen's liquor license on probationary status for six months.
In the past, Neisen's has been a hot spot for the Savage Police Department. Between February 2010 and February 2012, the SPD responded to 161 calls for service—the equivalent of one call every four-and-a-half days. Most calls came from residents in the Dan Patch Condominiums complex, who complained of noise, trash, obnoxious bar patrons, fighting, vomit, and people urinating in their alcoves. In a meeting with police, Owner Dan Neisen stressed the many sound-proofing measures the bar had already taken, including a roof with 12 inches of insulation, sound proofing panels in the stage area and doors, and carpeting on walls to absorb sound.
Nevertheless, this past February the Savage City Council unanimously opted to put Neisen's license on probation, which would allow the city to completely revoke the license if there was no change.
On Sept. 10, the Savage City Council discussed Neisen's fate at an informal meeting. Officials from the SPD told the council that over the last six months their officers have seen a marked improvement. Over the probation period, the SPD responded to just eight complaints at the bar, and on each occasion they found the noise to be within acceptable levels. They noted that Neisen's has taken a proactive to cut down on noise. Employees have attended alcohol compliance training and there has been no evidence to suggest that they have served alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons.
Given the improvement, officers recommended that the council consider rescinding the suspension period. If the bar continues to be a problem, they added, the council will have another chance to review the matter when Neisen's liquor license comes up for renewal in February 2013.
The council has yet to formally act on their review of Neisen's license on Sept. 10.
Neisen's, a heavily-trafficked live music venue, has not slowed down, though the noise complaints have fallen off. Tonight the bar will host Lil Durk, a Chicago hip hop artist who is currently enjoying a rapid rise to fame.