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Officials Temporarily Shut Down Club Controversy In West End

WEST END (KDKA) - Since it opened a few months ago, Club Controversy has lived up to its name.

The West Carson Street lap dance club has drawn perhaps more than its share of complaints.

Now, a raiding party of law enforcement officers and building inspectors has temporarily shut it down.

The sign on the door says "Closed for Renovations," but city building inspectors ordered Club Controversy to be shut down after a nighttime raid last week by the Nuisance Bar Task Force.

"You could consider it a raid. A nighttime inspection to see that everything is in place that should be in place and in this case it was not," John Jennings said.

Accompanied by police officers, Liquor Control Board agents and investigators and the District Attorney's Office, the building inspectors revoked Club Controversy's temporary occupancy certificate for overcrowding and failure to have a fire watch officer.

No one was at the club on Monday and the owners could not be reached. However, the task force also confiscated liquor and thousands of dollars in cash.

Pittsburgh Police said they cited the club for violating liquor laws, including serving alcohol to patrons after collecting a cover charge. The club does not have a liquor license.

"I think they have been a constant concern to the police, to our community and they have not been the great neighbor they said they would be," Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith said.

After a slew of police calls and community complaints, the District Attorney's Office confirmed it is keeping a file on Club Controversy to determine whether it should be declared a nuisance and shut down for good.

That can't come a moment too soon for Kail-Smith.

"I see no reason for them to be issued further permits for them to operate in the area," Kail-Smith said.

The signs on the door say the club will reopen in January, but that remains unclear especially when there are all these other voices that want it closed down for good.


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