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McKeesport mayor: Strip club can't open up as scheduled

| Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 3:56 a.m.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said he plans to immediately shut down a gentlemen's club if it opens on Friday without the necessary permits.

In a statement released on Thursday, Cherepko said he “unequivocally opposes” the location of the Saints and Sinners Gentlemen's Club in the former Chick's Grill building at 3711 Walnut St.

“I do not believe this type of establishment should be permitted to operate in such a semi-residential area that is the focus of many of our redevelopment efforts,” he said. “I believe this type of business will harm our efforts to recruit more businesses to this corridor, rather than aid in our progress to redevelop it.”

Club owner Scott Birdseye of Irwin said this week that print and radio advertisements promoting a Valentine's Day grand opening are accurate, but Cherepko said Birdseye has not obtained the proper permits.

“This establishment has not gone through the proper procedures to apply for any of the necessary permits to either undertake repairs at the location or to open and operate a business of any kind,” the mayor said.

Despite that, construction and utility crews have been working at the site, and Birdseye said they're “working hard” to open on Friday.

But Cherepko said that won't happen on his watch.

“If they attempt to open without following the proper procedures, I intend to shut them down immediately,” the mayor said.

Birdseye could not be reached Thursday evening and his attorney Brad Sommer did not return a call for comment.

For those concerned about the club, the McKeesport Ministerium will host a community meeting on Monday at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 716 Walnut St.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1970, or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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