Controversial Five Points bar Club Twist evicted - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Controversial Five Points bar Club Twist evicted

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It appears the controversial Five Points club that was under fire from Columbia law enforcement agencies as an alleged hangout for members of a nationally known gang has shut down again.

Club Twist, which was once previously known as The Library, now has a "FOR RENT" sign in the window.

The building's owner decided against renewing the club as a tenant.

"He was aware of law enforcement concerns and I suspect all of that played a role in his ultimate decision not to exercise the option," said Joe McCulloch, an attorney for Five Points merchants. "He's a businessman and I think he understood all of the issues and made a prudent business decision happily for the district."

This is just the latest twist on the story of the infamous bar, which was blamed by several Five Points business owners for the uptick in crime and potential gang activity in the entertainment district.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott even laid blame on the bar, saying security there was "substandard."

"That one club is the draw for the gang members that are coming into the Five Points area," said Lott. "So we were able to identify that particular gang and what they were doing, where they were doing it, and how they were operating. We also identified other groups of young males that were just roaming the Five Points area, not there to patronize any location, but basically looking for fights, looking for gang members, and also looking for people to rob."

Shortly after the bar came under criticism, the owner, Justin Kershner, almost lost his liquor license due to the sudden and abrupt end of an agreement between him and the state Revenue Department to allow him to pay back taxes in installments.

Kershner blamed the sudden change on Lott's comments.

However, Kershner said he managed to scrape together enough money to stay in business. He would still close the bar for a few weeks in order to renovate and rename it to Club Twist.

Despite the name change, controversy would not escape the bar. Weeks later, surveillance footage showed a brawl spilling outside of the bar and into the streets of Five Points.

That brawl, according to police investigators, turned into a shooting incident that led to at least two arrests. 

Now, the bar sits empty once again.

Last month, WIS also told you about an incident near that club in the Vista. Eight gunshots fired, no one hit but at least one close call when one of the bullets ended up just missing an apartment across Gervais Street.

The decision to end the lease arrangement on Harden was made by a family member of the late Frank Barco who passed away in 2012 after 28 years of running Frank's Hot Dogs.

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