The Spring Lake Park City Council approved sanctions on the owner of Dala Thai Restaurant and Banquet Hall March 16 for violations of the city’s liquor ordinance on Dec. 22, 2019, when a fatal shooting occurred in the restaurant’s parking lot.
Nineteen-year-old Chai Yang, of St. Paul, was killed, and several others were injured during a shooting at 12:08 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, in the parking lot of the Dala Thai Restaurant and Banquet Hall at 8407 Plaza Blvd., Spring Lake Park, according to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
Gunfire also damaged multiple nearby businesses, which were closed at the time.
The incident occurred when hundreds were gathered at the Dala Thai Restaurant and Banquet Hall for Bigg Monster’s Ugly Sweater Party, an 18-plus event hosted by Midwest Monstaz and featuring rapper $tupid Young, Jon Snow, Budd Khang and Kid Swami.
Dala Thai Restaurant and Banquet Hall shut its doors for more than a week following the incident and cooperated with the investigation, according to Spring Lake Park City Administrator Dan Buchholtz.
Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Commander Wayne Heath said there have been no arrests made and the investigation is still ongoing.
“After the incident on the early morning of Dec. 22, 2019, the Spring Lake Park Police Department began a parallel investigation into possible violations by Dala One, Inc., of the city’s liquor license,” Buchholtz said. “The investigation found two violations of the city’s liquor ordinance.”
Those violations included selling to an obviously intoxicated person and permitting a person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol on the premises.
The City Council proposed levying the following sanctions for Dala One’s liquor license: For selling to an obviously intoxicated person, the imposition of a $500 civil penalty and the suspension of their liquor license on June 20, and for permitting a person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol on the premise, the imposition of a $1,000 civil penalty and the suspension of their liquor license June 25-27.
The City Council agreed to waive the suspensions if Dala One agreed to pay the $1,500 in civil penalties no later than April 6, and it must contract with the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association to obtain alcohol server training for all staff, at the company’s expense, by April 6 with the training being held no later than June 5. All new servers hired will be required to take the training course within 90 days of employment.
“Just for clarification to residents out here, they did shutdown and close their doors and didn’t make any money,” Interim Mayor Bob Nelson said. “I think that’s a lot of what council was thinking about when we went forward too, because they took a week out of business. I think that’s where council was very concerned and stringent upon this. To back up what the chief, administrator and some other officers that were involved in interviews and negotiations with what happened after the fact, this is where council went. I’d like to reiterate to the residents that they were a new company. ... Most of us felt we should probably throw the book at them and this and that, but they were very cooperative, and I’m looking forward to a good relationship with the business and the city.”
The City Council unanimously approved the sanctions without further discussion.