Owner of troubled Wellsville bar agrees to sell, transfer liquor license

LISBON – The owner of a former bar in Wellsville must sell the property and his liquor licence to someone who will conduct business outside the village.

In an agreed judgment entry filed this week Columbiana County Common Pleas Court, Judge C. Ashley Pike gave Joseph Pappas, the owner of the former Joe’s Bar, also known as Joe’s Drive Thru, 30 days to file a declaration with the recorder’s office restricting any future use of the property at 1501 Main St., Wellsville, to only single family dwelling.

Upon filing the declaration, Pappas will be returned all the personal property located inside the property. The nuisance complaint filed against him by county Prosecutor Robert Herron in early 2013 will be dismissed.

Additionally, the entry addresses the business’ D5 license to dispense alcoholic beverages, which allows for on-premises consumption of beer, wine and mixed beverages as well as off-premises consumption in original sealed containers until 2:30 a.m. Pappas has been given a six months to complete the transfer of the permit. The new owner following the transfer will have to be approved by the Ohio Department of Commerce and must be used for an establishment outside the village. Should Pappas fail to complete the sale or transfer of the license, it will be forfeited to the state.

Finally, the property at 1501 Main St. will be sold within nine months and should it fail to sell, the property will be sold at public auction. Pappas is forbidden by the contract to sell the property to a relative, any employee or business associate.

Joe’s Bar and Grill and the adjacent Howie’s Drive-Thru were both closed by police armed with a court order in early February 2013. The contents of the businesses were seized and the apartments above the bar were closed. Those living in the upstairs apartments were immediately evicted.

At the time of the closure, allegations noted police had been called to the address more than 160 times between 2009 and February 2013. The calls alleged a list of complaints including loitering, gun play, fights, domestics and drug-use.