Harrisburg Night Clubs

More Harrisburg-area nightclubs and bars are using metal detectors

Merrymakers spilling into bars tonight might have to show more than proof of their age.
Some nightclubs will pass a metal-detecting wand over customers to make sure they’re not carrying weapons.

Harrisburg metal detector SEAN SIMMERS, The PATRIOT-NEWSRuss Kane, head of PR for Kamionka Entertainment, says he only occasionally uses a metal-detecting wand at the Bourbon Street Saloon in Harrisburg.

Long a staple at airports, courthouses and some schools, detectors are the newest tool for flagging dangerous bar patrons.
For the most part, bars use them voluntarily.
“We use them in our Advance clubs and any outlet that tends to have more urban appeal. Our regular [bars] downtown, we do not, ” said Ron Kamionka, president of Kamionka Entertainment Group, whose city properties include Harrisburg Hardware Bar, Tom Sawyer’s and Bourbon Street Saloon.
John Mathias, state police liquor control enforcement office supervisor, said there has been a jump in detector use.
“We see them often. It has developed over the last five years. Generally, you find them in places that draw the larger crowds, ” Mathias said.
Part of the reason may be that the state Liquor Control Board increasingly is telling bars that can’t control customers that it will withhold their licenses unless they use metal detectors, he said.
“We tailor each conditional licensing agreement to the establishment and, while it’s not unusual to place that stipulation on an establishment, you’ll commonly see that as part of an agreement where there is behavior that necessitates it, ” LCB press secretary Stacey Witalec said.
In fact, the LCB told a Carlisle bar this month that if it doesn’t check customers for weapons every Friday and Saturday, it will lose its liquor license. The Liquor Control Board on Dec. 13 ruled that Fast Eddie’s Billiard Parlor and Saloon must use a metal-detector, along with instituting other practices.
It’s not a guarantee that the bar will be violence-free.
“Wands and other screening devices are helpful. But they’re only as successful as the character and integrity of the person [or] establishment using them, ” Harrisburg Police Lt. Robert Fegan said.
Friends who met for a beer after work Thursday at Bourbon Street gave the practice mixed reviews. The men didn’t give their last names, saying their employers wouldn’t want them publicly commenting on the topic.
Aaron, of Upper Allen Township, doesn’t mind when bar security wands him. He said younger customers are the most likely to be put off by weapon checks.

Interesting facts

  • The Mellon Jazz Festival is a week-long jazz music festival held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Occurring every year in June, the festival is sponsored by Mellon Bank. Similar festivals are held in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Mellon brings all sorts of...

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