PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Its name says it all.
After a court fight that went all the way to the State Supreme Court, Club Controversy appears set to open – soon to be offering lap dances and other erotic entertainment to its clientele.
And the alcohol and drug recovery club next door is resigned to that fact.
“I thought it was too close for us, you know. I still probably have that feeling, but in the same respect it is here now, it’s going to be here for a little while and the best we can do is learn how to get along the best we can,” Joe Panzino of the ONALA Club said.
But community groups in the West End who fought so hard against the club aren’t giving up.
“We want to videotape, embarrass these people and put them out of business,” Gina Turner of the Elliot Community Group, said.
Turner says they plan to stake out Club Controversy, videotape clients going in and out and then post those videos on Facebook.
The club did not return phone calls, but the man who answered the door of the club identified himself as owner Pat Risha, Jr.
Sheehan: “How do you feel about people videotaping your clients coming in and out of here?”
Risha: “I got bigger problems. I’m not doing nothing illegal.”
Risha says he battled for more than four years to open the club and won. He says he plans to operate it responsibly.
“I won’t take away from anything I’m legally allowed to do, but I would do everything else past that to make sure I’m the best neighbor I can possibly be,” he said.
Club Controversy is in the process of hiring dancers and trying to secure the final approval and permits from the city building inspections.
But given those approvals the club will open and just as soon as this happens, the neighborhood groups will be aiming to shut it down.