Iowa City bar owners step up security measures to prevent shootings


IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) – H-Bar in Iowa City opened seven months ago with a full security system, including cameras and doormen. After the Taboo Nightclub shooting in Cedar Rapids and in light of many similar recent events nationwide, the owners have further tightened security measures.

When patrons enter the building, they barely cross the threshold before security ensures they have no weapons on them.

Co-owner James Miller works with his co-owners, Katrell and David Sykes, to make guests feel as safe as possible.

They coined the term “uncomfortably safe,” taking every step possible to keep people safe.

Metal detectors, a strict no weapons policy and at least one security guard at the entrance and exit.

“They step back and puff out their chests. ‘SECURITY’ [is written] on their chest. And if someone comes, they open the door, close the door behind them. Nobody knocks on the door, it’s a matter of security,” Miller said.

After the Taboo Nightclub shooting in April, they went further by establishing a personal and professional relationship with the Iowa City Police Department.

“We were approached by a local bar owner here who had similar concerns. We met with them, toured their establishment and gave them advice on steps they could take to increase security, and had a greater presence in and around this bar,” said chef Dustin Liston. .

Miller’s concern now is that the increase in calls to the police reflects badly in the eyes of current and new customers. When, he says, he and his co-owners make the calls to protect everyone.

“When the police pull up to Mighty Shop and they catch someone in the car and they have guns or they’ve been drinking, it’s not by accident. We called,” Miller said.

While these measures may seem extreme to some, he says it’s the least we can do to keep some of the worst kinds of violence away from the bar.

He adds that he and his co-owners believe that if Taboo had security measures in place similar to what H Bar currently has, this could have been avoided.

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