Minnesota’s Myth No More?September 2, 2009 By: Bryan Bass
Just outside the Twin Cities, popular Maplewood, Minn., nightclub and entertainment venue Myth Nightclub closed last weekend, seemingly the victim of a dispute between the club’s founder and one of its investors. The four-year-old venue sports a 3,000-person capacity with a 70-foot stage and multiple VIP areas that successfully drew in weekend nightclub audiences, while Myth’s role as a live music venue filled in the remainder of the calendar. Scheduled performances that are now on hold include Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Marilyn Manson and DJ Tiesto.
Whether the club will reopen is under debate, but the decision might ultimately be made in a courtroom. Last month Myth’s founder, Michael Ogren, was bounced from leadership of the venue after defaulting on a $3.5 million loan to investor Steve Sadowski. While the loan had nothing to do with the nightclub, Ogren reportedly signed over his stock in the club along with two homes and a golf course as collateral for a business loan to start an online poker site. When the online gambling start-up fizzled, Sadowski said Ogren stopped making interest payments on the loan, so Sadowski moved to take control of Myth through its holding company, Club Rage. After taking control of the venue and reviewing its books, he claims Myth is nearly $40 million in debt and closed its doors.
Ogren responded by filing a complaint against Club Rage through Ogren Properties, the title owner of the land, for missing payments. He also filed a restraining order against Sadowski that claims he is "dissipating and misappropriating" assets of Myth and asked the court to order an injunction preventing Sadowski from, “defaming, slandering or otherwise damaging the reputation" of both Myth and Ogren. He says he plans to take back control of the nightclub and reopen it by Sept. 1, but as of Sept. 2, no new news had been released on the opening.
Also in the mix is the Portland, Ore.-based investment company, StanCorp Mortgage Investors, which contends that Ogren has defaulted on a $7 million mortgage loan for the property where the club resides. The group filed a motion against Ogren, stating that it has not received any payments since March; that matter is scheduled for an Aug. 31 hearing (also, no news from the hearing was released).
In the meantime, Sadowski claims that the club could be reopened and be profitable with as little as $500,000 in improvements, but he adds that he won’t sink any more of his own money into the club and is attempting to negotiate a deal with StanCorp. In the meantime, there has been no announcement on what will happen with the busy schedule of concerts and the staff has been let go. After the closures of popular downtown nightclubs like Visage, Trocaderos, Axis, Element and Bellanotte within the last year, something tells us Minnesotans are hoping Myth returns.