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Sneakerz goes dark

sneakerzALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Football fans will have one less place to watch the action this season.

Sneakerz Sports Bar & Grill has closed its doors at 4100 San Mateo NE, publicly citing a liquor license matter. The venue is currently locked up with a “Gone Fishing” message on its marquee sign, though there are indications it may one day resume operations.

“Due to the lapse in our liquor license we’ll be closing our doors Oct. 5th with no date for our reopen set just yet,” read a Sept. 27 post on the Sneakerz Facebook page. A subsequent post stated that the bar was “semi planning to reopen sometime in the future when all the pieces fall correctly.” (Curiously, an Oct. 1 Facebook post referred to a closure “for remodeling.”)

The nature of the liquor license issue remains unclear. A spokesman for the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department hasn’t responded to an inquiry about whether the state was involved.

Sneakerz did not address specific questions in a Facebook exchange with the Journal, replying only “Watch our Facebook page for future announcements.”

Sneakerz has had some recent troubles. Last December, federal officials announced Sneakerz Inc. owner James E. Coleman Jr. had been charged with tax evasion totaling an estimated $166,320 and with submitting false tax returns. Coleman is still awaiting trial, according to federal court records.

Sneakerz did not answer Journal questions about whether the closure was related to Coleman’s charges or whether he was still the bar’s owner.