WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has denied Ali Baba Lounge’s liquor license renewal.
The owner of Ali Baba Lounge has filed an appeal to keep the state from taking its liquor license. Ali Baba’s lawyer tells us that since this appeal has been filed, the business will still be able to serve alcohol.
Newswatch 16 has been there several times when fights and even shootings have happened outside the Ali Baba Lounge in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
“No one really does anything to do anything about it,” Tom King of Wilkes-Barre said. “Not that I see.”
This week, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board refused to renew Ali Baba’s liquor license. Tom King of Wilkes-Barre is shocked by the news.
“Not gonna lie, I’ve walked into that club a couple times,” King said. “A lot of good, famous artists are in there. It just sucks, you know. I love the place.”
We spoke with the attorney for Ali Baba Lounge, Bill Byrne. He tells us Ali Baba applied for its license renewal about a year ago.
Since it was denied, Byrne and the business have filed an appeal. During the appeals process, Ali Baba is allowed to continue to serve alcohol.
“Our goal is to be sure that the license that they have is renewed,” Byrne said.
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tony George stands behind the liquor control board’s decision. He sent a statement saying, in part:
“As Mayor, I fully support any decision that will be beneficial to downtown Wilkes-Barre and that addresses the ongoing concerns of the residents of the downtown neighborhood.”
Those who enjoy going to the bar said taking away its liquor license will not solve the problem.
“It’s gonna happen regardless, whether it’s Ali Baba,” King said. “They’re just gonna go to another club. What are you going to do? Shut all the clubs down?”
Ali Baba’s attorney said he does not know how long the appeals process will take.
We have learned that the building Ali Baba is in is for sale, but no one connected to the business would comment on that.