Shootings, troubled history follow Orange County bar owners

Shootings tied to Happy Place Sports Bar, El Rinconcito Bar & Grill

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man found shot inside of a car Monday outside an Orange County Bar is another reason why deputies said they're increasing patrols in the area to keep people safe.
The shooting happened outside of El Rinconcito Bar & Grill on East Colonial Drive, deputies said.  Deputies haven't yet released the condition of the man who was shot, or a motive. 

News 6 learned the owners of El Rinconcito Bar once operated the now-closed Happy Place Sports Bar on Southland Boulevard, according to the Sheriff's Office, where two deadly shootings occurred in four months.

Investigators told News 6 they legally could not shut Happy Place Sports Bar down, even after two deadly shootings. The bar owners were evicted in October. Property owners said they were evicted after several late rent payments.  

Authorities said they can't shut down El  Rinconcito because the sheriff's office nuisance closure policy only includes multiple instances of prostitution, drug sales, stolen property and or gang activity but not homicides.

"I wish I can do something or anybody can do something," said Domingo Mondes.

Mondes works next door to El Rinconcito and told News 6 he worries about his customers' safety. Deputies say back in March, a shooting in the bar's parking lot left two people hurt. 

"Most of the weekends something happen, the police come, kick them all out," said Mondes.  

Orange County investigators said the bar is a nuisance. They’ve done recent bar checks, increased patrol, and also added extra patrols at the bar.

Orange County code enforcement told News 6 the bar owners have been operating at the East Colonial Drive location since July 2016.

Our attempts to reach property owners and the bar owners were not successful.

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