Happy Place Sports Bar closes after multiple fatal shootings

Attorney says tenants were behind on rent

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – After multiple shootings in recent months, including one on Monday, Happy Place Sports Bar in Orange County has closed.

On Wednesday, the space at 7400 Southland Blvd. was vacant and the bar's sign had been removed.

William Grant Watson, an attorney for the property owners, said they had been trying for months to evict the tenants because they were behind on rent, but a judge ruled earlier this month that the tenants could continue to rent out the space and make future payments through the court.

The property owners regained possession of the space Tuesday afternoon.

"There will not be a final judgment of eviction entered in the case, but it does mean they are officially gone from the property now and will no longer be operating from this location. The bar’s business sign has been removed and the locks have been changed," Watson said.

Orange County government officials said no county agency was involved in the eviction process.

Monday's shooting that left 24-year-old Adrian Peralta dead was just one of several shootings in recent months. Peralta was one of four people who was injured during a shooting at the bar in July, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Edgar Rivera died as a result of that shooting.

In September, a 55-year-old man was shot in the bar's parking lot during an argument, deputies said. He survived his injuries.

Other business owners and customers in the strip plaza on Southland Boulevard said they're hoping there will be less crime in the area now that Happy Place has shut down.

"Absolutely it’s about time it shut down (so) it gets better over here," customer Debbie Reynell said. "I’m glad. I’m glad to get some of the crime out of here. It’s been kinda sketchy lately."

Another customer, James Robinson, agreed.

"I think it’ll be a lot safer now that this bar has shut down," Robinson said.