Lounge owner pleads not guilty
Michael R. Watson, 40, of Orchard Court in Warren, operator of the now-closed Hideaway Lounge on Youngstown Road, pleaded not guilty today in Niles Municipal Court to three counts of not having a valid liquor license.
Watson was released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, meaning he did not have to pay anything.
After Niles police discovered the tavern’s liquor license had expired Oct. 1, they charged Watson with three minor misdemeanors.
But Philip Zuzolo, Niles law director, later elevated the charge to three misdemeanors, which each carry a possible penalty of six months in jail. Police discoverd the liquor-license issue while investigating the Feb. 24 fatal shooting of Britney Mazanec, 33, in front of the tavern. The tavern was closed because of the license issue.