Columbia Borough council meeting, May 25.
Council members unanimously denied letting a restaurant transfer its liquor license to Columbia after a Susquehanna Regional police officer described a shooting and fight March 26 at its previous location in East Donegal Township. Nine police officers who responded to a 911 call found visibly inebriated patrons fighting in the parking lot.
"How can we be assured that if we let you have a liquor license in this municipality, it won't happen again?" asked council President Heather Zink.
Francisco Cisneros, one of the four owners of Level Up on Locust Street, told council members that restaurant inexperience led to the brawl and two previous citations for refilling liquor bottles and allowing a minor to serve alcohol. "We won't do that again," he said. "We ask you for a chance to do business here."
O'Lions LLC, which operates the eatery, moved to Columbia after it lost its lease following the brawl. The restaurant featured a local disc jockey March 25, and the East Donegal location soon became overcrowded. Fights broke out, and witnesses heard gunshots. Jeremy Kauffman, a Susquehanna Regional police officer, responded to a 911 call. He told council members that officers found 12 bullet casings in the parking lot and arrested three people.
Cisneros said owners were unsure about whether they would continue to operate Level Up without a liquor license in Columbia or move to another city and request a license transfer. Pennsylvania allows one liquor license per 3,000 residents. After that, licenses must receive approval from cities.
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