After decades of struggle, Rebel’s Bar has shouted its last last call.
On July 30, Allegheny Community Alliance Church closed a deal, months in the making, to purchase the bar on East Ohio Street for $200,000.
ACAC Reverend Blaine Workman’s phone number is penciled in the white space beneath the story, along with a note inviting community members to offer suggestions for the space.
He said he’s also discussed the possibility of having Amani Coffee on the corner of Foreland Avenue and James Street move into the space.
Over the years, community groups such as the Northside Leadership Conference and the East Allegheny Community Council have lodged formal complaints against Rebel’s.
“Rebel’s Bar has been a thorn for a very long time, and everyone knew about it,” Beck said.
“It’s not personal on my part,” Burns said. “Clearly in my mind [the bar] was never held accountable.”
In the 2005 case Graf and his son filed, they alleged that the bar had broken the terms of its conditional license. Burns, who lives within 500 feet of the bar, said that the security at the bar was “spotty.”
“He seemed quite sympathetic to their cause,” Graf said.
Leonard Butler, owner of Rebel’s along with his wife Cynthia and son Michael, said that he had been looking for someone to buy the bar for eight years, but that he kept a low profile in his search.
Butler, who has been in poor health for a number of years, added that he had a potential buyer from West Virginia, but he chose the church in hopes they would be able to make progress in cleaning up the area.
Butler denied that Rebel’s was a nuisance bar, and said, “We pretty well handled all the clientele,” but added that some of the bar’s patrons were uncontrollable and not afraid of the police.
“They don’t have anywhere else to get their liquor,” he said.
He suggested the church might put a community development ministry in the apartment building, and then a “community serving business” in Rebel’s.