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San Jose closes down 'nuisance business' Agave Sports Bar

San Jose closes down 'nuisance business' Agave Sports Bar
By Laila Weir - Published on September 30, 2021.

San Jose has shut down Agave Sports Bar & Grill (544 W. Alma Ave.) after a fatal accident, a double shooting, and months of investigation into alleged lockdown-violation parties, prostitution and drug use there, the city's police department said Thursday.

"This establishment has been the source of dozens of calls from residents and neighbors reporting various dangerous and illegal incidents. In addition, at the onset of the Covid pandemic, we received calls reporting that the bar was open and violating the stay-at-home orders," San Jose police said in a release provided to this news organization.

The department’s vice unit has been investigating and monitoring activities at the bar since December of 2020, police said. 

“The purpose of the action was to address the serious safety and quality of life issues caused by this business. Agave’s closure is an appropriate resolution,” commented City Attorney Nora Frimann.

Police detailed the violations, which they said made the bar a "nuisance business."

"Since the beginning of this year, we have responded to calls involving fights, narcotics violations, and incidents involving weapons," the police statement said. "Numerous arrests for drunk driving were also made on patrons leaving the location. Two of the most serious incidents involved a double shooting of two females, and one traffic fatality that was caused by a driver engaging in sexual activity in the parking lot. In addition, during the investigation three females were arrested for engaging in prostitution."

As Hoodline reported in June of this year, one person died and two were injured at Agave after a reportedly intoxicated patron who police say was receiving oral sex in his parked truck reversed into an outdoor area of the bar and struck them.

And in February, Hoodline also reported on a double shooting at Agave at a time when it wasn't supposed to be hosting indoor gatherings. In that incident, two women were apparently wounded by stray bullets during a struggle over a gun between a customer and a security guard.

The city attorney filed a lawsuit against Agave owners Manuel Andrade Trujillo and Lady Lizcano in July, claiming that illegal activity at the bar constituted a danger to the public and that it was depleting police resources because of the constant complaints. The suit also named as defendants Agave itself and another establishment reportedly owned by the pair, Meli's Restaurant.

Police said the Vice Administrative Unit and San Jose City Attorney’s Office worked together to close the business for being in violation of the San Jose Municipal Code and California Penal Code. The bar will cease operations as of Oct. 17.

“I want to reassure our community that businesses like this one that engage in illegal and criminal activities will be looked into and investigated," Chief of Police Anthony Mata said. "The safety of our entire community is of great importance for this department.”