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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Site of former Sports & Spirits bar 'restored'

Demolition began Monday on the former site of the Sports & Spirits bar at 1723 E. Wayne St. Deister Machine Co., which is headquartered nearby, bought the building and will replace it with a green space that will serve as a memorial to victims of violence at the bar.
Demolition began Monday on the former site of the Sports & Spirits bar at 1723 E. Wayne St. Deister Machine Co., which is headquartered nearby, bought the building and will replace it with a green space that will serve as a memorial to victims of violence at the bar.
Mark Deister
Mark Deister
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2017 08:50 am

"We all need to be restored. So does the land," Associated Churches Executive Pastor Roger Reece prayed just before demolition began on the former Sports & Spirits bar, which during its six years of operation created plenty of need for redemption.

The building at 1723 E. Wayne St. was purchased recently by the nearby Deister Machine Co., and once it is removed the property will be turned into something of a greenfield memorial to the people killed and injured at the bar, which generated more than 300 police calls and was closed in late 2016 after three people were killed and two more wounded there.

"This has been a long time coming," said company President Mark Deister, who originally intended to replace the building with a 17-foot sign but later withdrew the proposal. Deister makes shaking equipment used by mines and quarries.

Reece asked for forgiveness for the events at the bar, and for God's blessings on the property.

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