MIKEEE'S Police help keep bar controlled

Off-duty police officers work as weekend security guards at the business.
GIRARD -- Cooperation between a local bar and the police has lowered problems and complaints at the business.
After weeks of complaints of fights, public urination and illegal parking, city officials and the owners of Mikeee's, a restaurant and bar on North State Street, agreed to make some changes, starting last month.
Mikeee's owners -- Dave Pantelis, Tim Maderitz and Greg Dominic -- agreed to hire off-duty police officers as security guards, as well as try to keep noise levels down and enforce a dress code.
Police pledged to step up enforcement of parking and liquor laws.
So far, said police Capt. Frank Bigowsky, things are working.
"A little bit of cooperation goes a long way," he said.
Bigowsky said at least one officer works the door of the establishment each Friday and Saturday night, and ongoing construction has limited access to parking lots across the street.
"It's working well," Bigowsky said. "We never had any desire to drive them out of town, but at the same time, we didn't want to become the Wild West out here either."
Mikeee's owners were not available for comment Wednesday.
Past problems
For several weekends in a row in July, police were called to Mikeee's about fights. Once, officers were forced to use pepper spray to calm the crowd, while on another occasion, neighboring police departments were called in for reinforcement as police closed the establishment early.
Since then, however, police have not been called to the business.
"The crowds are still coming, but everyone is behaving much better," Bigowsky said.
He noted that Mikeee's, along with business at the Wonder Bar and Amen Corner, have helped revitalize the downtown area, especially on the weekends.
"Things are really picking up," he said.

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