A bar fight that started between two patrons and escalated with a maximum capacity crowd forced the staff at the Duck Inn on Kalifornsky Beach Road to close several hours early Saturday night after one person was taken to the hospital.
Lela Rosin, owner of the Duck Inn said she had never seen a crowd as “rambunctious” as they were that night in her eight years as owner. She said she noticed a big influx of people around 10 p.m. after the end of the Kenai Peninsula Beer Festival that concluded down the road outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. Rosin said she attended the festival, which sold out tickets earlier in the evening.
The fight occurred between two local customers and ended with one man getting hit in the head with a beer bottle at about 11 p.m., Rosin said. Multiple Alaska State Troopers responded to the bar and advised the owner to close early after the crowd appeared to be energized from the incident.
Central Emergency Services transported the injured man to Central Peninsula Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, said CES Health and Safety Officer Brad Nelson. Authorities did not release the name of the injured man. Rosin said he is a regular customer who has since been released from the hospital and is doing well.
“I feel the fight was a misunderstanding and wouldn’t have happened if so many people were not involved,” Rosin said. “Troopers quickly arrived and helped control the situation. They suggested, given the energy of the crowd, it would be best to close down and reopen the next day.”
Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said nobody was arrested in the altercation and the report said about 15 people were involved in the fight.
Rosin said the staff did a great job to help dissipate the crowd and made sure people had a ride home. She said a lot of people that came from the festival had designated drivers and her staff made it a priority to make sure all the customers got home safe.
“I never had seen anything happen like this here,” she said. “I’m thankful everybody is still standing and I hope to never have that happen again.”
Reach Dan Balmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.