Warren bar, scene of killing, voluntarily closes

Warren bar, scene of killing, voluntarily closes


The city and the owner of the bar where a man was killed early New Year’s Day have reached an agreement whereby the bar will close and temporarily surrender its liquor license to the state.

At a news conference Thursday, Law Director Greg Hicks said he had been told that Joe Sankey Jr., the owner of the bar and holder of its liquor license, had already removed the liquor and “equipment” from the 480 E. Market St. bar.

Hicks said he and his staff had begun steps Tuesday and Wednesday to close the business through a legal action that would have asked a judge to declare the business a nuisance, but Sankey and his attorney intervened and offered to close it down voluntarily.

The agreement also says Sankey will within 7 days end his lease with Dream Team Promotions LLC, whose statutory agent is Lashawn Ziegler and which was operating the bar.

Hicks said city wants “legitimate, well-run businesses” and encourages a new business to reopen at the site. A number of things could happen after this to make that happen, including the transfer or sale of the liquor license.

Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said the city would be informed of any such proposed sale or transfer would be given an opportunity to comment on it before it took place.

Cory Blackwell, 25, of Warren was found with multiple gunshot wounds in front of the bar at 2:13 a.m. Tuesday after gunfire erupted in the bar near a crowded dance floor.

Police are still piecing together information and have not made any arrests.

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