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Judge orders The Cell to remain padlocked



Published: Wed, January 21, 2009 @ 12:08 a.m.

photo

CLOSING A BAR: The Cell, a bar at 221 Belmonst Ave., is boarded up after Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court issued a temporary restraining order that declared it a public nuisance. Telly Dutton, left, and David Gordon, of National Fire Repair in Youngstown, apply the plywood.

By Peter H. Milliken

The city will keep the bar closed while the owner tries to sell it.

YOUNGSTOWN — The judge who closed a lower Belmont Avenue bar and declared it a public nuisance has ordered it to remain boarded up and padlocked in the near future.

Judge John M. Durkin canceled a hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday on the city’s request for a preliminary injunction against The Cell, a bar at 221 Belmont Ave. that operated in the shadows of the Mahoning County jail.

Based on underage drinking complaints, the city had the bar boarded up and padlocked Jan. 8 after it requested and received a temporary restraining order from Judge Durkin.

Noting that the city and bar owner Jason Moore “have engaged in discussions that may lead to the resolution of this action while still furthering public policy,” the judge stayed all proceedings and held the case in abeyance for up to 30 days.

The city and Moore jointly requested court proceedings be delayed to permit Moore “to explore several options” for resolving the case, according to Tuesday’s journal entry from Judge Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

If no resolution is proposed to the court within 30 days, the judge said the hearing on the city’s request for a preliminary injunction is to be rescheduled.

After the judge signed the journal entry, Jay Macejko, city prosecutor, said the stay is designed to give Moore time to attempt to sell the business and its liquor license to another operator.

“We can still further public policy, which is the closure of the bar and preventing underage sales, while still giving him the opportunity to sell his business and remove himself,” Macejko said of Moore.

“We were in a win-win position. The city was in the win position in that we are going to maintain closure of this bar for at least the next 30 days, and they’re in a win position, in that he may be able to recoup some of his investment should he be able to sell his interest,” Macejko explained. “And if he’s unable to, we come back in 30 days and we’re essentially in the same position.”

“The last thing the city needs is another vacant building. We welcome the opportunity to have a thriving business in our downtown area, and, if somebody wants to come in and run it lawfully, then so be it,” Macejko said.

If the hearing process goes forward and the city obtains a permanent injunction against The Cell, the premises would become dry, Macejko said. “There are huge ramifications were we to proceed and become successful as I believe we would be,” he added.

“We’re looking at a bunch of different options,” said Moore’s lawyer, Jeffrey Kurz. “We’re trying to come to a resolution that’s actually beneficial for both parties and allows my client to secure and make sure that he doesn’t lose his investment, and, at the same time, make sure that the city and the state’s concerns are met.”

Kurz said of Moore: “He understands the city’s concerns, and he’s trying to make sure that he makes a smart business decision, but, at the same time, that he shows proper respect for the city.”

millliken@vindy.com


Comments

1aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"There are huge ramifications were we to proceed and become successful as I believe we would be,” he added.

Wow, way to butcher a sentence.

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2YTownPride(7 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

this bar has been a mess since the day it opened with underage drinking. force the sale and let a responsible owner take over for once.

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3boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

burn it

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Tear it down and get Wendys to build a restaurant there.

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5Valleys_Voice(149 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Let a business team go in there with a strategic plan to open a store that would appeal to Youngstown's majority citizens. Having a teen bar there only promotes underage or irresponsible drinking. We need a business there that will boom, not a Wendy's or any other fast food chain. We as a country are too dependent on unhealthy and unsanitary fast food chains. Why not open something that will actually BENEFIT our city rather than destroy it. And I'm not speaking of just the Cell, I'm talking about every other run down building in the Downtown area. We need reform and we need change. It all starts with us, the common citizen. Voice your opinion and stick to it, if we all put our opinions together, we can form a better solution.

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6THEVOICE(22 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I have a question for Valleys_Voice. What do you suppose would be a good business considering the area its in? By that, I mean off the beaten path in an area where nothing survives. At least a fast food chain would give less than competent people somewhere to work and if you have been to local fast food restaurant in the area you know what I mean!

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7Fred(131 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Micky Dees needs some competition and Wendys would be a good choice!

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8aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"Let a business team go in there with a strategic plan to open a store that would appeal to Youngstown's majority citizens."

I think you might have to wait to see if marijuana will ever be legalized before you can open a store that would appeal to Youngstown's majority citizens...

Or you could always open a gun shop. The use of guns seem to be a trend around here, too.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"store that would appeal to Youngstown's majority citizens..."

Well that would be a drive through for booze,marijuana and crack cocaine. Perhaps Jay can arrange for a special permit to operate such a place.

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10tinnydrop(16 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I think the proper business to replace The Cell would be rehab.

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11westsider2010(6 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

This is like the speakeasy's of day in the past. If you board up this one, there will be two more.

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12VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

In response to aeparish, you would not be able to operate a gun shop there, as the customers who use guns on the streets would never pass the federal background check. Besides that, they would need help in reading, interpreting and filling out the paperwork necessary for the federal background check. If you live the life of crime you get your goods the same way you live your life.

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13aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Vindyak, I know this. It would never work and I was only being sarcastic.

But then again... since they are criminals anyhow, if such a place did exist, they would probably just rob them, too.

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14VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I've read about criminals trying to rob gun shops in other towns, but they usually get "outgunned!!"

Maybe y'town criminals have not heard about that yet, so they'll try anyway....oh well, only wishful thinking...its sort of like putting out rat poison to attract the rats.

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15YSUgrad99(200 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

The place is a dump and there's a very bad and illegal influence present. It needs to go away.

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16tinnydrop(16 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad this sh@thole is closed up. The owner has no concern about whom is being served in this hole in the wall. Whats even sadder is the fact that its located behind the jail and only a block or few from the police station. What does that tell you about Y-Town PD?

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17Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Tear the place down and those who cherished it can collect some money to put up a tombstone in its place.

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18mustangsally(2 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Well people...you heard it hear first.
The Cell will most likely be up and operating by the end of March...everything is being 'transfered' to the 'silent partner'.
There's something else for you to chew on.

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19mustangsally(2 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

here*

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