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Port O' Call auctions off belongings


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SALT LAKE CITY -- It's the beginning of the end for the longtime Salt Lake night spot Port O' Call. The club is shutting down, and everything inside the club has to go. So, it all went up for auction Wednesday.

To make way for the expansion of Salt Lake's federal courthouse, everything inside the club must go. Owner Kent Knowley has to be out by March 15, so an auction was the quickest way to move all this stuff.

"To pack up a place of this size that's been here for 20 years, I mean there's a lot of stuff here," Knowley said.

There's also a lot of space to clean out: Port O' Call has four floors, occupying 40,000 square feet.

Over the years, the club has attracted a lot of regular customers, and many of them were at the auction making bids on more than 1,000 items.

Up for auction: neon signs, tables, chairs, bar stools, TVs, DirecTV receivers, computers, ceiling fans, beer pitchers and glasses, even the kitchen sink!

"Everybody has their own thing that they're looking at. We have a lot of people looking at liquor dispensing equipment, because the stuff we have is very good," Knowley said.

Because of its downtown location, Port O' Call attracted many celebrities and sports stars over the years. During the 2002 Olympics, the place was packed every night.

Knowley fondly remembered those times as he watched the auctioneer sell it all. He had one final thought for his longtime customers: "Just say thanks to everybody for 20 years. Hopefully, we'll be around again somewhere."

Knowley has appealed the amount of money he received for the club through eminent domain. A jury trial will be held in November. After that, he may open up another club.

About 100 people showed up for the auction Wednesday, but this is a two-day auction. If you're interested in attending, bidding will resume at 10:00 Thursday morning. There is a $10 registration fee.

E-mail: kmccord@ksl.com

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Keith McCord

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