Problem bars and businesses that police have targeted in Middletown and Hamilton

Nuisance properties are back in the news after the recent ownership and name change of a hotel that Middletown police had said was a problem area.

ExploreREAD MORE: Once-troubled Middletown hotel is latest business to change after battles with police

In recent years, this news outlet studied the issue of bar closures after a series of problems.

Here’s what we found in that report:

MORE: Police find doors locked when responding to fight at Middletown bar

Four Middletown businesses have either been closed or demolished after they were declared nuisances:

• Miller’s Lounge on Charles Street

• B&R Cafe on Crawford Street

• The VFW on Young Street

• Grand Illusion bar on Grand Avenue, after being under investigation, was sold and then demolished

ExploreMORE: If owners don’t comply, troubled bars need to close, police say

After Miller’s Lounge was closed in 2014 due to repeated nuisance violations, Bar Boca opened in the same location last fall, and neighbors and police say the illegal activity has continued, despite the new owners.

There was a shooting outside the bar 10 days after it opened, police said.

ExploreMORE: Site of fatal Hamilton shooting razed

In recent years the Hamilton Police Department has shuttered one business: the former J&J Bar on Third Street, according to Capt. Marc McManus.

That bar was padlocked in February 2016 by police after an injunction was obtained in Butler County Common Pleas Court. The bar had been a hotbed of criminal activity and violence, including drug complaints, a shooting, a stabbing, and strippers, police said.

The bar at 314 Third St. has since been sold and will be under new use.

MORE: 60 people indicted in Butler and Warren counties

A Hamilton bar that was the site of a fatal shooting last summer in Hamilton’s West Side has been closed and razed, but it did not take nuisance laws to make that happen.

On July 24, 2016, a 22-year-old man was shot and killed in the lot of Doubles Bar, 1555 Main St. Seven others were wounded by gunfire.

Within hours of the shooting, police and city officials had contacted owners of the building.

“They said they didn’t want to be part of that type of business and took steps to end it,” McManus said.

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