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Sun Trapp surrenders license

Months of rumors and speculation have swirled around the status of The Sun Trapp, as they posted on January 7 that they were “Temporarily Closed” due to a “plumbing issue” and would reopen the next day. They opened on the 8th, but shut down again on the 18th and never reopened.

In that time, their phone number was disconnected, no social media was updated, and there was rumor of their return of alcohol stock to vendors.

Today, Utah Department of Beverage Services Communications Director Michelle Schmitt told QSaltLake that the bar “surrendered their license this morning.”

Schitt said DABS staff were researching the extended closure as a breach of rules relating to keeping a bar license. They said the closure was not because of any violations administered by them. The license will likely be granted to a business at their monthly meeting this Thursday.

The Trapp was opened in 1991 by Joe Redburn, who had sold the Sun Tavern that he owned since the 70s. The bar was bought by Rob Goulding, renamed the Sun Trapp in 2000 and, along with business partners Riley Richter and Dennis Rowley Gwyther, ran it until Goulding’s death of pancreatic cancer in 2018. In 2019, Gwyther was killed in a freak shooting on I-84 in northern Utah. Goulding’s brother, Michael Goulding, exerted control over the bar, ousting Richter and bar manager Micheal Repp. Richter and Repp now own Club Verse. Patrons of the bar, under the new management, became less and less LGBTQ-related, and many of the regulars scattered to other LGBTQ-related bars that have opened up over the past few years.

This is a breaking story, and the owners and staff have not responded to numerous attempts to contact them for comment since they closed 71 days ago.

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