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Police won't challenge Bobby Dale's renewal; 2nd club not so lucky

Joe Napsha
| Sunday, May 13, 2012, 4:16 a.m.

Greensburg police will challenge the renewal of the liquor license for a private city club but not for a popular nightclub if the owner continues to make progress in resolving complaints about the establishment's operations.

Greensburg Police Chief Richard Baric said Tuesday that Capt. George Seranko and a few city police officers will testify today at the state Liquor Control Board hearing challenging the renewal of the liquor license for the Giacomo Matteotti Beneficial Society at 116 Carpenter St. in the city's Sixth Ward.

The officers will testify in support of previous information the police department provided to the state Liquor Control Enforcement regarding problems with the Giacomo Matteotti club's operations, Baric said. He declined to comment on the officers' testimony, which will be heard in Pittsburgh by a three-member LCB panel.

The Giacomo Matteotti club was cited for two liquor code violations: selling multi-brew beer that would be consumed away from the club's premises and operating after hours, an LCB spokeswoman said.

Timothy Straka, owner of the Matteotti club, said yesterday he would withhold comment until the hearing today.

The LCB is challenging the renewal of the liquor licenses for the Giacomo Matteotti club, and also Bobby Dale's Restaurant & Lounge in the Greensburg Shopping Center because of "egregious activity and abuse of licensing privileges."

The LCB decides whether to oppose a liquor license renewal after reviewing police reports about a liquor license holder, Baric said.

The liquor licenses for both clubs were to expire on June 30, but the LCB has permitted them to operate until the hearing board decides whether the licenses should be renewed. An LCB spokeswoman said that decision may take a few months. If the LCB refuses to renew a liquor license, the decision can be appealed to the Westmoreland County Court, the LCB spokeswoman said.

Bobby Dale's, which faces a liquor license renewal hearing on Jan. 17, has been cited three times for violating the state's liquor code in the past two years, the LCB spokeswoman said.

In addition to the violations, Greensburg police have responded to 25 incidents involving complaints about activities related to Bobby Dale's. The LCB spokeswoman said those incidents include fights, disturbances, loud noise and sales to visibly intoxicated patrons.

The owner of Bobby Dale's, Robert Pushic, has taken actions toward improving the situation, including warning patrons about making noise outside the club, Baric said. The owner of the shopping center, Union Real Estate Co., has discussed improving the lighting outside the club and installing sound barriers that would reduce noise reaching the neighbors.

"(Pushic) has been more diligent and sensitive," about the problems, Baric said.

Pushic, who could not be reached for comment last night, met with a group of neighborhood residents and an LCB representative and city police in August to discuss complaints about the club. As a result of that meeting, Baric said three residents have taken on the role of representing the neighborhood in discussions about the residents' problems with the club.

City police would testify at Bobby Dale's liquor license renewal hearing if subpoenaed, Baric said.

"If Bob Pushic continues to move forward , then we would not be as likely to oppose his (liquor license) renewal," Baric said.

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