COLUMBUS, Ohio — An east Columbus bar accused of operating without a liquor license has shut down in response to what city officials said were multiple reports of violent crime connected to the business.
According to Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, PKWY Lounge & Grill first applied for a renewed liquor permit in June of 2021, but was rejected due to what the city said was violent activity on the premises.
Earlier this month, the Division of Liquor Control rejected another renewal, citing outstanding tax issues with the original permit. Despite that rejection on May 4, Columbus Division of Police PACT officers have reported purchasing beer and liquor at the bar while working undercover.
“This bar was illegally operating without a liquor license, but to make matters worse, it was a hub for gun crimes and lawlessness that threatened the safety of patrons and area residents,” Klein said in part.
Police have responded to more than 60 reports of crime at the bar located at 5200 Riding Club Lane, according to a release from Klein’s office. Included in those reports are assaults, large fights, shots being fired and, in at least one case, a stabbing.
In one instance in March, police responded to the bar’s parking lot for a reported fight among 10 people. The following month, officers returned to the bar for a report of someone with a handgun. That person was arrested, but police later returned that same night after 6-7 shots were reportedly fired at the bar.
“Businesses that don’t abide by the law and threaten public safety will be held accountable for their actions. We will shut you down,” said Klein.