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Lackawanna shuts down banquet facility after brawl

Lackawanna lawmakers are looking to shut down a banquet facility on Ridge Road after a record-release party this week ended in a brawl that injured two police officers.

The fracas erupted shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday at EW’s Bar & Grill and Steel City Productions, located at 283 Ridge Road, said First Ward Councilman Abdulsalam K. Noman.

Police were called to the scene when the facility’s private security was unable to control the crowd, said a source close to the investigation.

Lawmakers on Thursday voted unanimously to rescind the registration of the two businesses that operate at the location. A third business in the same building, a beauty supply company, was not believed to be involved in the incident.

During the brawl, one officer was bitten in the arm by a woman. Another officer was choked from behind by a second woman who jumped on his back.

“There are no nightclubs or bars in the First Ward now,” Noman said. “They all were closed. A couple of years ago, the owner of a bar on Ingham Avenue lost his liquor license after a shooting in June 2010.”

There were reports of liquor being served at the premises, said City Council President Keith Lewis. During the brawl, one woman, who identified herself as a bartender, was hit in the head with a liquor bottle, Noman said.

One source said that an estimated 100 people attended the release party.

The Ridge Road location is the former site of Old Polish Home, a private social club.

“The First Ward is a better place to live because there were no nightclubs located there,” said Noman. “For the safety of the residents and police officers, that place needs to close. There were different functions where alcohol was served there, and the establishments don’t have a liquor license.”

Lawmakers approved the business registration in November 2015.

A special public hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Council Chambers of Lackawanna City Hall to determine the future of EW’s Bar & Grill and Steel City Productions.