Bar where fatal shooting occurred under scrutiny

Mourners at Anarae Schunk’s public memorial Oct. 6 applauded when Schunk’s brother Tyson called for Nina’s Grill in Burnsville to be closed. (Photo by Rick Orndorf)

Anarae Schunk’s brother

calls for Nina’s to close

Nina’s Grill in Burnsville, where the slain Anarae Schunk was seen with her ex-boyfriend the night he allegedly murdered a man in the parking lot, is a nuisance and should be closed, her brother Tyson insists.

Tyson drew robust applause from a crowd of about 1,000 when he called for the closing during Anarae’s public memorial Oct. 6 in Burnsville.

“I have personally spoken to dozens of neighbors and heard endless complaints about the violence, drugs and prostitution that is trafficked in and out of that establishment every day,” said Tyson, of Tulsa, Okla., whose parents still live in northeast Burnsville, the part of town where Nina’s is located.

Police Chief Eric Gieseke acknowledged there have been complaints about the bar and said his department is working to alleviate them.

Nina’s Grill owner Nina Sorkin, when told of Tyson Schunk’s statement, called it “insulting.”

“He’s upset. Don’t get me wrong,” said Sorkin, who opened the business at 2510 Horizon Drive 12 years ago. “But he better watch his mouth, what he’s saying.”

Anarae’s ex-boyfriend, Anthony Lee Nelson, allegedly killed 23-year-old Palago Obang Jobi with multiple gunshots shortly before 2 a.m. Sept. 22 in the Nina’s parking lot. Authorities say Nelson, 31, then drove away from the bar with Anarae and his current girlfriend, 24-year-old Ashley Marie Conrade. They ended up at Conrade’s Rosemount townhome, police say.

Anarae, 20, whose family reported her missing Sept. 23, was killed in Rosemount Sept. 22, according to Rosemount police, who say charges are forthcoming.

Nina’s generated 132 police calls for service from January 1, 2011, to Oct. 2, 2013, Gieseke said.

“Obviously, that’s significant,” said Gieseke, who noted that a call for service can range from a traffic stop made in the parking lot to public urination to the Sept. 22 shooting.

“We’ve been told there’s illegal activity up there,” Gieseke said. “We’re certainly investigating those.”

He said he appreciates the concerns neighbors of the business may have.

“The Burnsville Police Department is definitely committed to working  with every business in the community, but this one certainly has created calls and concerns that we’ve not experienced in the past, and we certainly don’t want to continue down this road,” Gieseke said.

Tyson Schunk criticized Nina’s for allowing his underage sister into the bar.

Sorkin said Nelson and Anarae came inside at about 7 p.m. Sept. 21, and Anarae wasn’t carded because she declined to order a drink.

“My business has nothing to do with this killer. Nothing,” Sorkin said. “He asked her to come over to my business to meet each other. They left in 10 minutes. They didn’t even drink because she’s underage.”

Court documents also place Anarae inside the bar before closing time. A customer told police a man later identified as Nelson and a woman later identified as Anarae were together at about 1:40 a.m., according to criminal complaints in the Nina’s shooting case.

Sorkin said her bar’s policy is to check IDs of all customers after 9 p.m. and all who order alcohol before 9 p.m.

Nelson had been a customer for about the last three months, Sorkin said. During that time he was well-behaved, she said.

“He called himself ‘Cali,’ ” she said.

A transplant from the Russian city of Saint Petersburg, Sorkin opened her business as the Russian Tavern. The bar and restaurant serves American and Russian cuisine.

Sorkin said she’s at the business every night and hasn’t gotten complaints about it. She flatly denied that prostitution-related activity occurs there. She said the police calls she’s familiar with are the ones she makes herself.

Drugs? “Every bar has people with drugs or on drugs or selling the drugs,” especially late at night, Sorkin said. “Every bar has that, and everyone knows that.”

Tyson Schunk told mourners Oct. 6, “I will be leaving for my home in Oklahoma today after the ceremony, and I want Nina’s to be closed by the time I get back to celebrate Anarae’s 21st birthday at the end of this month.”

Said Sorkin when told of his comments, “I know everybody here, and it just hurts me so bad to hear that.”