The sordid little story of the J & G Tavern in South Philadelphia carries with it a larger lesson concerning the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. It is this: The argument that the LCB is needed to control bars that become outrageously disruptive influences in their neighborhoods is a false one. The J & G case shows that the LCB can't control them - even when it does everything it can.
We'll spare readers a reiteration of the tawdry details, recounted by neighbors, of the conduct connected with this bar, and merely give a partial list of the actions that have been taken by the LCB. The board has cited the bar at least 14 times since 1983 for violations of state laws. Nine of those citations have been for "lewd behavior" or "deviate sexual behavior." Twice the LCB has revoked the bar's liquor license, but the J &G still is open because the matter is on appeal. "We've done everything we can," says a spokesman for the LCB. "We are as frustrated as the people who live there." He is absolutely right. The LCB has done all it can - and that hasn't been enough.