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Lawyer: Liquor charges must be resolved before North Huntingdon strip club reopens

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Gloria's Cantina Lounge will remain closed for now.

The lawyer for the North Huntingdon strip club on Tuesday refused to sign off on an agreement that would allow the Route 30 business to reopen later this year.

Attorney Dante Bertani said liquor control violations filed last week by state police need to be resolved before a deal to reopen the bar can be finalized.

“There's no agreement until I talk to (Liquor Control Enforcement). We received no citations,” Bertani said.

The club's owner, 83-year-old Gloria Brugnoli, has challenged the closure effort. Two days of hearings were held in December in Brugnoli's efforts to reopen the club, and the case has been in limbo since.

Gloria's was padlocked in November following an investigation and a state police raid. Investigators said patrons and dancers were involved in prostitution and illegal drug sales.

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck filed court documents seeking to have the club declared a nuisance bar, which would require the business to stay shuttered for a year.

A hearing on the closure scheduled to be held earlier this week was postponed when it appeared a deal to reopen the club had been brokered.

Peck said Tuesday the proposed deal would allow Gloria's to reopen if it meets a series of conditions that include added security.

Bertani declined to discuss details of the liquor control violations, saying only that the citations were erroneously filed.

Steve Brison, acting district office commander for the state police liquor enforcement division, said this week that Brugnoli can contest the citations at a hearing before an administrative law judge in Pittsburgh.

Five citations were issued alleging violations ,including failure to display a liquor license, operating without a valid health permit and allowing cigarette and cigar smoking.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293.

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