Fat Daddy's site of 'typical bar-related' incidents

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

Over the past five years, the Springettsbury Township Police Department made around 12 arrests for harassment and disorderly conduct at a nightclub looking to move to York City. 

Club owners Matt and Sean Landis are hoping to move their business, Fat Daddy's, to downtown York. 

There were also eight arrests for trespassing, six for public drunkenness, four for simple assault, three for theft and two for false identification since March 2014 at Fat Daddy's, according to incident reports obtained through a Right to Know request. 

At the request of Mayor Michael Helfrich, Matt Landis told York City Council during a recent committee meeting he could provide them with information regarding recent police incidents. The information could influence the council on whether to grant the Landis brothers a liquor license transfer to move their business from Springettsbury to the heart of the city.

In general, calls to Fat Daddy's, 2510 E. Market St., are for typical "bar-related stuff," said Springettsbury Township Police Sgt. Brian Wilbur. 

According to incident reports, police typically responded to fights in or near the bar, patrons refusing to leave when asked and underage people trying to use fake ID's. 

Wilbur said that the owners, Matt and Sean Landis, are cooperative with police. 

The Landis brothers are in the process of purchasing the the former Citizen's Bank, 1 N. George St., from the Redevelopment Authority Board for $450,000, to open a a self-described "more upscale" music venue. 

The council will hold a public hearing on the matter Tuesday, March 19. 

The council will not be voting on the liquor license transfer that night, said council President Henry Nixon. 

A handful of residents spoke out against the potential club at a meeting earlier this month. They stated concerns about noise control and security issues. 

Nixon stated similar concerns at this month's committee meeting, when Matt Landis made a presentation to the council. 

The Landis' proposed establishment would be far from the city's first bar. There are at least five bars within a mile's radius from the proposed location. 

York City Police Chief Troy Bankert said any new business involving alcohol is going to "create cause for service." 

"To what degree, I do not know," he added. 

It is the City Council's decision to evaluate, he said. 

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Project: The proposed venue would be open until around 2 a.m., featuring live music acts as well as offering lunch and dinner options. Bars around the city pop up regularly offering similar services, seemingly without drawing citizen backlash. 

What seems to set this project apart is the scale, said Lou Rivera, chairman of Latinos Unidos and City Council candidate. 

"I think it's a much bigger concept," Rivera said. 

On its busiest nights, Fat Daddy's has seen upwards of 1,300 rotating customers, according to Matt Landis. 

The proposed club could bring negative outcomes like ones shared by residents, but it could also be beneficial to the city, Rivera said. 

An "open and transparent" conversation needs to be had to find "creative solutions" to address potential concerns, he said. 

Matt Landis said the owners would be investing about $4 million into the project. If owners are successful, they need to put money "back into the rest of the community," Rivera said. 

"We don't want to miss out on a lost opportunity," Rivera said. 

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to add comments by York City Police Chief Troy Bankert. 

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