Bar Owner Calls Nuisance Bar Accusations ‘A Witch Hunt’

JEANNETTE (KDKA) — Punch and Jr.’s bar in Jeannette is under fire from some in the community. Deserved or not, it’s got a bad reputation with some.

“It’s crazy at times especially on the weekends. At least once a week, we got fights in the street from bar people,” one resident said. “Those of us who live within a block of this place would love to see it closed. It’s a nuisance bar.”

The Clay Avenue establishment is allegedly being looked at by law enforcement as possibly being declared a nuisance bar, which could lead to its closing.

“I think it’s a witch hunt,” part-owner Thomas Kowalski said. “No, it’s not a nuisance bar. There’s no trouble in there. You have a fight every once in a while, but other than that, no.”

Kowalski says he has contacted the state liquor control board to help keep the place above board.

“I’ve done everything I can. I talked to the LCB,” he said. “I have a door man. I card them. Nobody under 25 is allowed in. They get wanded every night.”

Kowalski told KDKA he keeps his people in line, but once they step onto the sidewalk…

“I can’t control them out here,” he said. “How can I control them out here?”

But not everyone says the bar or its ownership are the big issue. It’s the people going in and out that give this place a bad rap.

“I think it’s the wrong clientele that comes through the door,” one resident said. “I would not say it was the owner of the bar. He’s just trying to make a living like everybody else.”

Which Kowalski says he’s going to continue to try to do, despite calls for him to shut down.

“We’re doing whatever we have to do,” he said.

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