Joel Weinstein
Joel Weinstein

Liquor charges against the owner of North York's now-closed Club XS have been withdrawn, but charges against the club are still pending.

On Jan. 3, the state's Bureau of Liquor Enforcement filed charges of selling liquor without a license against Club XS and Joel R. Weinstein, 64, formerly of Spring Garden Township.

He now lives in Florida and is trying to sell the 36 W. 11th Ave. building that once held the nightclub, his attorney, Chris Ferro, said.

"My position is they did not have sufficient facts to support the individual charges against Mr. Weinstein," Ferro said.

Negotiations: York County District Attorney Tom Kearney said the charges were withdrawn as part of prosecutors' ongoing plea negotiations with Ferro in the case against Club XS.

But if a plea agreement can't be reached, charges against Weinstein can be refiled, Kearney said.

"I think this is a positive first step in ongoing efforts to resolve this dispute," Ferro said.

Ferro confirmed part of his agreement with prosecutors "opens the door" for them to refile charges against Weinstein if negotiations fall apart in the case against the club.

The allegations: Sgt. Jeffrey Rineer, LCE district office commander, said his agency alleges that although the club purported to give away alcohol for free to get around losing its liquor license, it charged a cover at the door for patrons to get in.

"Our assertion is that charging the cover is actually part of the sale of liquor and brewed beverages," he said in January.

The charges are the culmination of an undercover investigation that began Feb. 1, 2012, and ended with an Aug. 8 raid of the club, during which state LCE agents seized all the club's liquor, Rineer said.

The background: In February 2012, Commonwealth Court overturned a York County Common Pleas Court decision that the Liquor Control Board erred when, in October 2010, it refused to renew Club XS's liquor license.

The LCB's decision noted Club XS failed to "take effective remedial measures to abate the continued disruption and unmanageable all-age nights, which culminated in the mayhem and shooting on June 11, 2010."

In response to that ruling, Weinstein announced the club would remain open and he would give away alcohol for free.

He opened the club about seven years ago.

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.