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Patrons cleared early Sunday from Durango tavern to prevent fighting

Owner says he is working to clean up behavior at bar
El Rancho Tavern closed early Sunday after tensions arose among patrons and employees worried a fight was brewing. A crowd of about 100 patrons milled around the bar early Sunday morning, but dispersed when police arrived. (Patrick Armijo/Durango Herald)

Numerous patrons were cleared from El Rancho Tavern in the wee hours Sunday morning after employees suspected a fight was brewing, according to the Durango Police Department.

Durango Police Department Sgt. Devin Conroy said about 100 people were milling outside of El Rancho when officers arrived.

No fight occurred, and patrons were compliant and dispersed after officers arrived, Conroy said.

El Rancho’s employees decided to close early to prevent any problems later, Conroy said.

Chip Lyle said the matter involved a couple of men who began shouting when the last call for alcohol was announced.

“We asked them to leave, and that was about the extent of it,” he said.

He said the incident did not involve two groups that were arguing.

Lyle said he has worked hard to clean up behavior in the bar, and the report overstated the nature of the incident, harming his efforts to rehabilitate the tavern’s reputation.

Conroy said, “When officers showed up, nothing happened.”

Conroy said he was unsure about what the dispute was about.

A few hours later, DPD received a report of a fight outside El Rancho, but responding officers could not locate anyone involved in a brawl, Conroy said.

“Nobody was identified, and nobody came forward,” Conroy said.

parmijo@durangoherald.com

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