By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Open just a week and Club Controversy is already living up to its name.

The lap dance club faced opposition from Onala — the drug and alcohol recovery center next door — which says it’s already having problems with Controversy’s patrons.

“We had a couple people in the lot – I guess they figured we were part of that strip club and they were over here drinking and several people have been in here – they were clearly intoxicated,” Joe Panzino director of the Onala Club said.

Panzino says Onala is a safe and quiet meeting place for alcoholics and addicts in recovery.

Though unaware of any issues, Controversy’s owner Pat Risha says he’s already taken pains to keep his patrons away from Onala by erecting a fence and hiring security.

“I have great respect for what they’re doing over there, the work they’re doing over there and I don’t want to interfere with that anyway that I can,” he said.

But over the Onala’s wishes, Risha is now applying for a liquor license which he says will bring his club under the regulation of the Liquor Control Board.

“I think me having a liquor license would be better for all of us,” Risha said.

“We’re going to oppose it,” countered Panzino. “I mean, they’re 80-feet from a recovery center for people recovering from alcoholism.”

Going forward, Risha says he’ll do all he can do to be a good neighbor.

“I’m trying the best I can to keep these two facilities separate,” Risha said.

But despite the efforts to contain those problems, this may just be a bad mix. A recovery center next to a lap dance club may be a combination that will never work.

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