Bar to stay closed

LISBON – A Wellsville bar and drive-through business will remain closed after an attorney for the bar’s owner, Joseph Pappas, waived his right to have a preliminary injunction hearing on the matter.

Joe’s Bar and Grill and the adjacent Howie’s Drive-Thru were both closed by police armed with a court order in early February. The apartments above the bar were also closed.

Set for a hearing on Thursday in Common Pleas Court, Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble said he had about 10 witnesses ready to proceed. Most were police from the Wellsville department, which handled the closure of the bar due to complaints. The prosecutor’s office has requested both a preliminary and permanent injunction closing the premises in a civil matter, which is used to deal with nuisances.

Gamble said the prosecutor’s office will continue to seek the permanent injunction, and for the time being the place will remain boarded up and closed. Even if the business would be sold, the liquor license will not be eligible to be transferred at this time.

On the morning of Feb. 8 when the buildings were closed by court order, police had confiscated the contents. Those living in the upstairs apartments were immediately evicted.

At the time of the closure, allegations noted police had been called to the address more than 160 times between 2009 and this past February. The calls alleged a list of complaints including loitering, gun play, fights, domestics and drug-use. Gamble indicated complaints were not just at the businesses, but also in the apartments upstairs.

The matter has now been set for a court trial on the permanent injunction on Nov. 26. Gamble has also filed a motion asking for the permanent injunction to be granted by default judgment. The motion has not yet been addressed.