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Du-oh no! Duo Nightclub in Legal Trouble

And as quickly as it arrived, it was gone.

Less than seven months after it opened its doors, Duo Nightclub, located at 129 Pugh St., is in legal trouble and has been served an eviction notice for failure to pay rent according to court documents plastered on the troubled night spot’s door. A judgement has been entered in court against owner Parag Parikh and his company P&P at PSU, LCC for $12,000 in back rent. Duo will be evicted on May 20 if not paid.

Rumors swirled at the end of last semester that the nightclub was planning to close. Bar staff, who wished to remain anonymous, independently confirmed to multiple Onward State writers at the time that the nightclub would close for good on May 14 and that they had received notice that their employment would be terminated. When I asked for a manager, I was directed to a man who identified himself as Duo manager but declined to give his name. The mysterious man said that the rumors were “false” and that Duo would open up again in the fall when students returned.

Two weeks later, and it doesn’t appear as if anyone has been inside Duo since its final night on May 4. Week-old mail has been shoved inside the door and is strewn throughout the ground. Phone calls go unanswered and the lights remain off.

It’s likely that Duo was doomed from the start. The building at 129 Pugh St. is owned by Tony Sapia’s Sammark Inc. Tony’s Big Easy and Lulu’s — both defunct Sapia-owned establishments — were formerly located where Duo is now. The locations were plagued with liquor law woes, including happy hour violations, minors law violations, and most notably, a 2006 fatal stabbing outside of Club Love, which preceded Lulu’s, that resulted in the death of Penn State student Michael Donahue.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board revoked Sapia’s liquor license, calling Sammark bars a “risk to public safety.” After several appeals, Sapia was forced to sell the license, but several PLCB penalties stuck. Sapia was able to keep the building but the owner of the new license would be forced to limit drink specials, stop alcohol sales at 1 a.m., and make sure 75-percent of revenue came from food sales — a hefty if not impossible task for a college nightclub like Duo.

Parag Parikh is listed as the current owner of the tainted liquor license, as of October 5, 2012. Neither Sapia or Parikh could be reached for comment.

Sammark first filed a tenant complaint on March 20 against Parikh and he was served on March 27, according to court documents. Judge Ronald Horner ruled in favor of Sammark on April 22 and filed the repossession and eviction order.

Perhaps most abstruse in this case is defendant Parag Parikh. His corporate address, filed under P&P at PSU, LCC, is listed as Duo at 129 Pugh St., although no phone number is listed with the PLCB. It appears that this is the only business Parikh owns in State College, and the LLC was just founded in 2012.

Phone calls to P&P at PSU, LCC’s listed number went repeatedly unanswered, as did calls to Duo.

We are continuing to look into this situation and will provide more information as it becomes available. For now, though, it looks like Duo’s stint in the State College nightlife scene will be short lived. D(u)o’h!

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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