Munhall council closes Club Pink's doors

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Robert Kupec has lived in the same house for 75 years.

For the past six decades, he's watched bars come and go at 936 E. Eighth Ave., which is less than 100 feet from his home.

But since Club Pink moved in, he has been awakened by gunfire three times -- most recently, when a man was shot in the head and killed March 3.

So Mr. Kupec, 76, was more than relieved Wednesday night when Munhall council unanimously voted to revoke the permit of the borough's only strip club effective today.

The vote passed 6-0, with council President Joseph Ballas absent.

Residents spilled into the hallway outside of council chambers to hear from borough officials and Club Pink's attorneys. Locals also took the floor and submitted two petitions with a combined 195 signatures to council, asking that the club be closed.

Council held that the club violated the borough's strict adult entertainment ordinance, adopted in 2008.

The hours of operation and dancers' attire and conduct were in violation of the ordinance, police Chief Patrick Campbell said. Its alcohol practices also violated the state liquor control code, he said. Club Pink did not have a liquor license and was considered a bottle club, he said.

Police have been called to the club 42 times since it opened in August 2011, for everything from a patron being locked out of a car to drug possession and gun-related issues, Chief Campbell said, which he categorized as a "pretty high" number of calls for a bar.

On March 3, John Hunter Sumpter IV, 32, of Wilkinsburg was shot and killed while sitting in a car outside of the club. Paul Barone, 23, of Munhall has been charged in his death. Following the killing, the club voluntarily closed for nine days.

David Toal, attorney for Club Pink, said that while the club's operators didn't believe there was enough evidence to close the bar, he understands that the community is upset.

The club can appeal council's decision. But borough Mayor Raymond Bodnar said Club Pink's doors have closed for good.

"We're shutting it down," he said after the hearing. "That's the ball game, as far as I'm concerned."

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Lexi Belculfine: or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.


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