Owner Of Wilkes-Barre Lounge Speaks Out After Shooting

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated.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.

WILKES-BARRE -- The owner of a lounge is speaking out after someone was shot outside the place in Wilkes-Barre.

This was after the mayor said he is considering getting Passion Lounge shut down.

Owner Eyhab Matari is speaking out after a man was shot.

Just after 2 a.m. on Friday, police responded to Passion Lounge on Scott Street when gunfire erupted.

Since then, Wilkes-Barre's mayor tells Newswatch 16 he's considering closing down the lounge under the Nuisance Bar Law but Matari does not think it is fair.

"Our regular customers that come in here, they know this is a safe place to bet at," said Matari.

With security cameras in every corner and security guards always on staff, Matari tells us his place on Scott Street is always on watch.

He won't let us show the surveillance videos from Thursday night, but we got a look at the footage and you can see the shooter never enters the lounge.

Detectives believe the gunman knew the victim and targeted him before running away.

"We had no incidents in here," said Passion Lounge security guard Gilberto Santana. "No verbal confrontations, nothing. We were good in here, then that happened out there. What more can we do to prevent that?"

Owners and security guards plan to do whatever they can to keep Passion Lounge open and plan to talk to the mayor and the chief of police to see what else they can do.

"We didn't shoot anyone out there," added Santana. "You close us down, 20 to 30 people lose their jobs and for what? They go away? Is that what everybody thinks? You close it down and these people go away? Whoever did this, the criminal element is just to find another spot."

This is just the latest shooting at the lounge. Back in July, a customer was shot inside.

Matari plans to convince city leaders the lounge should stay open.

The mayor and Wilkes-Barre police didn't return our calls for comment.


  • Tom J.

    Maybe the whole lot of them will leave town if they don’t have a place to hang out. The W-B area would be a better place.

  • Valfreyja

    Political theater. Until the state and the federal government do something about industry moving out of country, the poverty that enables drug violence will continue in the mid state. This is not about locales, or even drugs really. It’s about quality employment that allows a man the opportunity to earn a decent living. No one’s talking about this problem this way because there are people at the top making ridiculous profits off this societal entropy. These people are complicit in these crimes.

    • Poonus

      ending the war on drugs removes the problem on fighting over territory to sell drugs. that is the real issue, people are going to choose to do things other people aren’t interested in doing, like drugs,

      making it prohibited, makes it profitable or the dealers wouldn’t sell it.

      but sure demanding jobs be returned to the US would help people here live better. unfortunately that will never happen!

      globalism and ‘free and fair trade’ were keywords on moving jobs over seas to made manufacturing jobs be carried out by slave labor that the US can’t compete with as our people here are demanding 15hr for min wages.

      know anyone who wants to purchase a $1000 cell phone?

      • Valfreyja

        That’s specious reasoning. They’ll just find another black market to profit from. Financial motivation is a HUGE part of the gang/cartel sell to disenfranchised people who cannot make a living or who have been abused by their community. By this reasoning one would have to assume the mafia disappeared the day alcohol prohibition was lifted, but we know that’s not what happened.

  • Conroy

    mayor leighten sounds like a statist clown. Close it down because something bad happened near it? If that’s his reasoning why not close down every business in wb that has experienced a shooting or criminal activity in or near them. Must be more to it.

Comments are closed.