Derogatory Letter Targets New Bar

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DUPONT -- A flyer that was put in people's mailboxes in one part of Luzerne County has the neighborhood talking about a new bar expected to open. The flyer talks about Mexicans in a derogatory way.

Gang-related violence, rampant drug use, fights, public urination and intoxication. That's what this flyer claims will happen in this neighborhood in Dupont once a new bar opens up.

The flyer refers to Continental Bar and Grill as a Latino nightclub, but the owner of the building says that's not the case.

"It's not a Latino-only place. It's open to the public. The owner is a very good gentleman," said building owner Bill Defazio.

The building at the corner of Main and Center Streets in Dupont used to be a bar but has been empty for several years.  Now Amaury Oliveira plans to open it as a bar next month. Oliveira believes he's the target of the flyer.

"This racial goes against me maybe because of my accent, and I'm not a mexican. I'm French, Italian, and I'm born and raised in Brazil," said bar owner Amaury Oliveira.

The flyer was taped to and stuffed in mailboxes in the neighborhood. It insinuates the problems will happen because a lot of Mexicans will go there. It asks people to sign a petition against the bar and is signed "a concerned citizen"

People in this neighborhood who got a good look at the letter say it shocked them. They say the language was upsetting and bigoted.

"It just specified Mexicans. We have a variety of cultures in Dupont, but not all Mexican," said Sharon Graaf, of Bear Creek Township.

Sharon Graaf lives in Bear Creek Township, but comes to Dupont regularly to care for her mother. She calls the flyer ridiculous, especially since it wasn't signed.

"I mean if you have that much concern, you're going to sign your own name to it and come door to door personally if you know the information is credible, so that's why I think it's fabricated," said Graaf.

One thing in the flyer that some neighbors say they were legitimately concerned about was parking. But the bar owner says there will be parking available in a lot about a block away. Borough officials in dupont are trying to figure out who did this. They say whoever's responsible violated several codes with the way these flyers were handed out.