PLAINVILLE – A local sports bar, branded a “gang bar” by police, has been shut down by state officials following a motorcycle gang brawl last week.
The state’s Department of Consumer Protection announced Tuesday that Central Café, located at 54 W. Main St., will be closed indefinitely. The establishment’s liquor permit and right to do business has been suspended.
This comes after two people were injured last Thursday during a brawl between the “Diablos” – who have been known to have a clubhouse on Prospect Street in Bristol – and the “Outlaws,” two dueling motorcycle clubs, at the bar.
In a letter to the state’s liquor control director, Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania said two other incidents of “motorcycle gang violence” have recently occurred at the Central Café. The chief went on to describe it as a “volatile and dangerous situation,” saying that “it is not likely that we have seen the last of this type of behavior at this location.”
According to police, the entire evening shift of the police force responded to the Central Café last Thursday and found two people injured, including one who was bleeding profusely with a deep laceration to the right side of his head and a bite mark on his arm. Police said it appeared as though he was struck by a blunt object. He was not very cooperative with police, only saying he was jumped.
The other injured person, a known Outlaw member, was bleeding slightly from a laceration to his head. He was also not cooperative with police.
Police noted that as many as 20 motorcycle club members were seen fleeing the bar when officers arrived. They shouted profanities and threats to police as they sped away on motorcycles, driving over lawns and on the wrong side of the road, according to police. Police also said some of them were wearing black leather vests with red devil faces and “Diablos” inscriptions on them, while others had vests with “Outlaws” inscriptions on them.
Plainville police reached out to three towns for mutual aid because of the large police presence required.
An anonymous witness told police a number of Outlaws were hanging out at the Central Café’s patio when a multiple Diablos members approached quickly on their motorcycles, parked, jumped the patio fence and attacked the Outlaws.
According to police, officers, while speaking to Roger Papallo, the Central Café manager, said to him it “appears that the Central Café is being operated as a ‘gang bar,’” Papallo replied “yeah,” police said, also acknowledging that he is friends with many Outlaw members.
In an email from Catania to Plainville Town Manager Robert E. Lee the day after the brawl, the chief wrote “Central Café is welcoming gang members in with their colors displayed.”
The chief also told the town manager “I do not get the impression that the current manager of Central Café, Robert Papallo, is police friendly nor well equipped to deal with the crowd he had last night or previously. It is common knowledge at this point that Papallo has friends in the Outlaws motorcycle gang. His actual involvement with the gang has not been determined.”
Michelle Seagull, commission of consumer protection and chairperson of the liquor control commission, wrote in the Department of Consumer Protection’s ruling that the recent events at Central Café “imperils public safety and demonstrates the need for better control of the premises….”
The notice suspends Central Café’s liquor permit and forces the premises to be closed “pending proceedings for revocation or other action.”
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.