Some downtown York residents lampoon would-be nightclub

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch
Several residents spoke out in objection to a liquor license transfer to create a nightclub at 1 N. George St. at a Tuesday, March 5 York City Council meeting (Photo by Rebecca Klar).

York City residents lined up Tuesday to voice opposition to a potential nightclub opening up in the heart of the city ahead of a public hearing to debate the matter. 

A handful of York City residents, including the owners of apartment units across the street from the proposed nightclub location, the former Citizens Bank, publicly objected to Fat Daddy's owners' request for a liquor license transfer during a Tuesday, March 5, York City Council meeting. 

The council has yet to set a date for the public hearing on the liquor license transfer from the club, located in Springettsbury Township, but it will likely be later this month, officials said. 

While the Continental Square area is not distinctly residential, there are apartment units in the general vicinity. Patricia and Graham Will, part owners of the One West development, 1 W. Market St., said there are 50 apartment units in the mixed-use building. 

The old Citizens Bank building at 1 N. George St. in York City.

Patricia Will said she foresees the venue bringing major issues, specifically for One West residents. 

"I don't see how they'll be able to mitigate the noise sufficiently to make it peaceful for the residents," she said. 

Jerri Worley, a One West resident, said she has a "front-row seat to that building," adding that it's "already noisy on the square." 

This past week, City Council members voiced concerns at a committee meeting similar to ones posed by residents. Council members ultimately voted to hold the hearing by a narrow 3-2 margin, with council members Judy Ritter-Dickson and Edquina Washington opposing the idea of considering the license transfer at all. 

On Tuesday, Worley said she's also concerned about potential security issues. 

"What's that going to be in terms of cost to the city and added police protection, who pays for that? I doubt Fat Daddy's is going to be paying for police protection, outside at least," Worley said. 

Matt and Sean Landis own and operate Fat Daddy's, 2510 E. Market St.

In November 2014, a 24-year-old man was shot at Fat Daddy's — at the time, Springettsbury Township Police believed it to be in the parking lot — shattering a bone in his leg. Police said they did not think the shooting was random. 

Springettsbury Township Police Sgt. Brian Wilbur said since January 2018 there have been about 48 police visits to the club. He added that most of those calls have not been major or even necessarily for nuisances. 

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In general, the calls to Fat Daddy's are typical "bar-related stuff, nothing too crazy," Wilbur said. 

The department also has a good working relationship with the owners, who, Wilbur said, are cooperative with police. 

The Landis brothers are in the process of buying the former bank building off the  Redevelopment Authority Board for $450,000. RDA chairman Michael Black said the agreement is moving forward but that the sale is not yet complete. 

At a committee meeting on Feb. 27, Matt Landis told council members the club would be "vastly different" and "more upscale" than Fat Daddy's. It would feature live music, likely until about 2 a.m., as well as lunch and dinner options. 

The business model depends on the liquor license, he said. 

— Rebecca Klar can be reached at or via Twitter @RebeccaKlar_.