City officials shut down bar formerly known as The Library

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Gang activity in Five Points has become a hot topic after a string of high profile crimes in the area.

With a laser beam focus on the popular college bar district, business owners started speaking out about where they believed the violence was stemming from.

"I think we have one isolated problem here in Five Points. A 'cancer' if you will. There seems to be one bar/club that a lot of these problems are originating from."said Nicky's Pizzeria owner Steve Cassano back on October 17th of this year.

Steve believed that "cancer" was the club known as "The Library".

However, The Library's owner continuously stood by his business amidst similar allegations from surrounding business owners in Five Points.

"By just going on the news and saying there's gang activity here - come tell me. I'll help you get rid of it. I don't want it here. That's not what we're about. We're about young college kids having fun and just because they're black, you want to call me a gang club. I'm not having that."stated The Library's owner, Justin Kershner, on November 6th of this year.

And things continued to get worse for The Library as time went on.

"At 2:00 p.m. they plan on revoking our liquor license."said The Library's other owner, Anne Kershner, on November 7th of this year

Anne was referring to the Department of Revenue.

Her statement was made after the Department notified the couple, who are co-owners of the bar, that they had to pay close to $20,000 in back taxes

If they didn't, they would be forced to give up their liquor license.

The couple was able to come up with the money, but Sheriff Lott's words from the day before concerning The Library still rang in the air.

"They need to close or they need to cease the type of operations they're doing right now."said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott on November 6th of this year.

So even though the couple had the money ready to go, they decided to close their doors for an undetermined period of time.

And now The Library sign is down, but city officials discovered people inside the bar around 1:00 Sunday morning.

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins was one of the officials present when the bar was shut down.

He confirmed with me over the phone later Sunday morning that the business was in fact shut down due to the lack of a proper business permit.

Jenkins also told me Kershner says he is currenlty in the process of re-naming his bar.

I stopped by the location on Sunday afternoon and no one came to the door.

So for now we will all have to wait and see what the next step will be for this business.