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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A downtown St. Louis nightspot accused of flouting local COVID-19 mask and social distancing rules has had its liquor license suspended after one official concluded that shootings outside made it a health and safety threat.

The suspension of Reign Restaurant's license will last at least until hearings before city Lquor Control Chief Myles McDonnell resume Sept. 27, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. McDonnell suspended its liquor license after opening hearings Friday.

Area residents have complained for months and blame Reign for street fights, broken bottles on sidewalks and gunshots that wake them up at night.

The city shut down the restaurant down in October 2020 and December 2020 over alleged COVID-19 violations. The second time also occurred after four people were shot outside the restaurant on a Saturday night.

During Friday's hearing attorneys for the city played video from the December shootings and video related to shootings in August in front of the restaurant and in the alley behind it.

But Reign attorney William Dailey noted in questioning witnesses that none of the people involved in the December shooting were Reign customers. He said none of the shootings happened inside and said the nightspot could not be held responsible for what happened outside.

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