'Cheers' is no sitcom, Upper Darby cops say

Posted: March 29, 2010

"Cheers" may be where everybody knows your name, but everyone in Delaware County law enforcement just knows it as a nuisance.

Fueled by a raid Friday night that netted six arrests, a recent homicide and 313 police reports from the bar since 2007, Upper Darby authorities yesterday closed down Cheers, on Market Street near 69th.

In the wake of the shooting death of Tyrik Richardson, 24, of Philadelphia, in the bathroom of Cheers on March 18, Upper Darby Police raided the bar at 12:30 a.m. Saturday with 50 law-enforcement officers from the state and county.

Three illegal gambling machines were taken out along with six people - four who were arrested for drugs and two who were arrested for underage drinking, said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

The township subsequently shut the bar down for health- and fire-code violations, including those for bugs, roaches and exposed wires, Chitwood said.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has said that its Bureau of Licensing objected to the renewal of Cheers' liquor license when it came up in November, but Chitwood and Mike Mattson, spokesman for Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green, said that a hearing on that matter has not been held.

Mayor Thomas Micozzie is saying he will continue to push to shut the bar down permanently.

Chitwood, who has been complaining about the bar to LCB officials for months, said that the process to shut down nuisance bars is far too bureaucratic.

"Either the LCB is incompetent or the bureaucracy is so out of control they should abdicate it to local authorities," he said.

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