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Posted on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti Township requests 24-hour coney island shut down early Monday mornings following three years of crime, noise complaints

By Tom Perkins


Luca's Coney Island

Tom Perkins | For

A 24-hour Ypsilanti Township coney island officials say regularly ties up police resources and disturbs neighbors early Monday mornings will soon close during those hours.

Luca's Coney Island at 2469 Washtenaw Ave. will shut down between 1:30 and 4:00 a.m. weekly starting this Monday morning. It’s the third time the restaurant has closed during those hours at the request of township officials.

At a recent meeting, the Board of Trustees authorized township attorney Doug Winters to take legal action against the owner of the coney island if the township’s request wasn’t met.

Over the last three years, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department deputies have been dispatched to the location on more than 150 occasions, and almost exclusively between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Monday.

The calls have sometimes tied up every available unit and required mutual aid from neighboring jurisdictions. Charges stemming from calls include disorderly conduct, property damage, aggravated felonious assault, gambling, retail fraud, vagrancy and more.

Township officials also have received numerous calls from residents in the adjacent neighborhood complaining about loud stereos and noise.

“We get calls from the neighbors south of Washtenaw Avenue in which they are vocally begging us to do something,” said Mike Radzik, director of the office of community standards. “They can’t sleep because of the noise and have to get up and work Monday morning,”

Police officials said the crowds gather at Luca's after local bars close.

Township officials have met with Luca's owner, Frank Gsokas, on three occasions over the last two years, Radzik said. At the first two meetings, Gsokas agreed to close the store early Monday morning and the Sheriff’s Department reported the problems completely ceased.

But Gsokas reopened the store several months after each meeting, and the problems reignited, Radzik said. He said Gsokas was cooperative during the first two meetings, but told township officials at the last meeting that it was the Sheriff’s Department job to protect his store and keep it safe.

Gsokas did not immediately return calls from

After the last meeting with Gsokas, Winters ran a title check to see who owned the property. Officials had believed Gsokas owned it, but the search revealed it was actually owned by a trust in Ann Arbor. Winters contacted the trust, and a representative clarified that Gsokas leased the building.

Winters said the building owner agreed to contact Gsokas to discuss the issue. Gsokas has since decided to close from 1:30 a.m to 4:00 a.m.

Winters said he believes the trust that owns the property didn’t know about the issues and intends to cooperate with the township.

“We have an agreement and I’m very thankful that the property owners stepped up and did the right thing,” he said. “We have put a lot of man hours into (Luca's) and if we don’t see a voluntary turnaround then we will take more drastic action.”

Prior to authorizing the township to take legal action if necessary, Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo underscored that the township’s first goal is always to get compliance from businesses that have issues.

“We do try to work with people and give them an opportunity to do the right thing,” she said. “This will be good news for neighborhood. All hands are on deck (Monday mornings) when the bars close and it’s chaos in there.”



Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 9:19 a.m.

I live near this restaurant as well as work midnights near there and have stopped in at 3-4am for "lunch" many a time. I have been surprised by the crowds there, but to be honest, many of the kids there didn't look old enough to have come from a bar, nor did they act drunk. There was a young man who, in order to prove his "cool-ness" flashed a gun. They have had onsite security guards there for a while to handle things before calling the police. I'm glad it's not closing every night, because as a midnite worker, and it's close proximity to St Joe makes it a welcome respite for those of us who need to eat odd hours and don't always "brown bag" it (and can't do gas station food). By the way, they have the best broasted chicken around, and generous servings. Good luck Luca's, I'll still be there despite the nasty things said by other posters here!


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

Here is what they dont tell you in the story, It can and is usually up to 200+ people packed into a small lot 5 feet from someones house with just a fence between them.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

Keep working guys! I'd love to know, who is doing these great things for our community. Just keep plugging away.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 8:50 p.m.

Steve McKeen at 8:34 AM on August 19, 2011: "This is more in the continued fight by the current Township board to push their morality and so-called Christian values on the rest of the residents. The board continues to show themselves to be anti-business, anti-alcohol, and anti-minority." bzzzzzt-wrong-0! had you gotten past the 2nd graph, you would have learned that the board is anti-disorderly conduct, anti-property damage, anti-aggravated felonious assault, anti-gambling, anti-retail fraud, anti-vagrancy and more.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

There's a very simple solution. It is against the law in most communities to play a car stereo above a certain decibel level. Rather than repeatedly telling these children to turn it down, give the cops a noise meter, and if the car is booming too loudly, give the owner a ticket. A couple of those tickets, especially if it means you can't renew a driver's license or get new tags, and you're a little less willing to provide the noise-makers.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

I use to work at a fast food place in highschool, it would get rowdy sometimes. The manager had the sheriffs office on speed dial (not an emergency number). So we could ask them to "stop by" without calling emergency. The managers also gave free food to anyone from the sheriffs department, that meant durning my shift at least one deputy would stop by, sometimes for lunch or dinner, most often to use the bathroom and get a coffee or soda to take with them, it was a good way for them to get a pulse on the neighborhood. Just the presence of an officer waltzing in nonchalantly could stop a crowd from getting too boisterous. Perhaps the owner of Luca's should get more friendly with the cops, offer them free coffee, then the cops wouldn't be stopping by just to break up activity, but they could stop by to get coffee, be seen by the crowd and have the rowdiness stop before it starts.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

I'd wager most likely Papi o's or The Bistro has an underage dance nite Sundays that precedes with weird Monday morning AM trouble at Luca's.

Life in Ypsi

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

Amazing that people are attacking Davidlan for speaking the truth. It's very easy to take a pollyanna look at the problems plaguing the city and township when you don't live in a problematic area. Don't want cameras in your neighborhood? Don't want businesses shut down? Then stop playing the victim role that the township and police are making it hard for people to live and call the people out who are dragging this area through the mud! The police and township are enforcing "morality " as you say Mr. McKeen because time and time again people in this community continually display a disrespect for the law and common decency. Get angry at the people that can't behave themselves in public. Get angry at the complete apathy about holding people accountable for their actions. I for one am so sick of living some place where my home gets broke into, shootings occur frequently, my kids are unsafe outside and at school, pitbulls roam the streets and stores, restaurants and gas stations are iffy places to safely go to.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:17 p.m.

Because "fed up" you can't paint the entire population of a city in that light. There are a TON of nice people in Ypsi. Davidian did not say that there is a core group of troublemakers etc....he blamed the entire community. That is what's wrong. "I think it's more of an indictment of the people that live in Ypsilanti.""It's the people, it's the community. It's a lack of personal responsiblity and accountability across the board." In fact, he is including YOU.

simply amazed

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

Obviously I'm out of touch. How many bars are actually even open until 2am Sunday night?


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 6:46 a.m.

@Some Guy, Why would people who have been drinking want to travel so Dar from the bars you mentioned? There are other 24 hours places that are closer to those bars than this particular coney island. Same for the bars in depot town....


Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 6:43 a.m.

Yes, perhaps you are out of touch... Sunday and Monday nights are often off nights for a great many bar and restaurant employees, so those nights are their "weekends", so to speak, and they go out and party - typically spending and tipping very well - so many bars have specials for bar and restaurant staff on those nights, right thru Tuesday night. This is not the same crowd that's causing this problem, however. Different demographic entirely.

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

Let me google that for you. The Aut, Blue Leprechaun, the 8 Ball, the Arena, Circus, Heidelberg, Charley's, The Brown Jug, Buffalo Wild Wings, Bar Louie, Conor O'Neill's, Packard Pub... and then I got tired of looking.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Ban all bars & coney islands. Both are hot beds for trouble!!! Be a good citizen. Stay at home, take your anti depression medication, watch American Idol, & shut up


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Davidian commented at 7:44 AM on August 19, 2011 "Is this an indictment of Luca's? I think it's more of an indictment of the people that live in Ypsilanti... It's the people, it's the community. It's a lack of personal responsiblity and accountability across the board. By shutting down the business, you are not addressing the real issue. You're just putting a band-aid on a bullet hole." Your words could be used as a definitive example of prejudice - you judge an entire community on the actions of a few, and you assume all the culprits are from within the community even though you have no basis to do so - 'Nuff said...


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

"who said anything about race...other than you?" Ummmm. Steve McKeen played the race card @ 8:34 AM.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:14 p.m. prejudged an entire city....who said anything about race...other than you?


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

OK....I'm a racist for pointing out the obvious. Nice try. Fail.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:23 p.m.

Exactly right and even more disgusting is that Ann leaves it there.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Somebody needs to open a Blind Pig in Yspi to service the all night crowd, they have them in Detroit.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Bars need to close at 12:00 midnight and so does this dive.

Concerned Citizen

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

I really wish had down votes.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

12:00 LOL!!! as for it being a "dive" I would bet big money that you have never been there let alone eaten there.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

I'll ask the rhetorical question how many cops from how many forces does it take to "control" the crowd that collects at the Northeast corner of Stadium and Main on Saturday afternoons in the fall?

John B.

Sat, Aug 20, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

Apples and kumquats, Craig....


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.



Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

So let me get this straight. Bars are over-serving their customers. Then those over-served people cause problems at a coney and its the coney's fault? Is Luca's the new target now that the Dairymart gets to remain open after being caught selling to minors several times and playing host to many illegal activities.

Steve McKeen

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

This is more in the continued fight by the current Township board to push their morality and so-called Christian values on the rest of the residents. The board continues to show themselves to be anti-business, anti-alcohol, and anti-minority. This needs to stop. We need to vote the Stumbo crew out the next chance we get!

Concerned Citizen

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

This is not about race. Have you been to the board meetings? It's about safety and respecting other peoples rights. It is really unfortunate that the police do not have the resources to take care of the problem themselves. The business owner shouldn't have to shut down. As far as the cameras, this was open for public debate at the board meetings and the residents and the West Willow neighborhood association was all about it. I do agree with you on the anti alcohol thing. Plus attorney Winters is using his position to rally against the Snyder administration (relating to the Dairy Mart liquor license renewal).


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

The race card? Seriously? If the Coney Island can't control their patrons, then how is this a race issue? What about all of the minorities who's tax dollars go to paying for emergency services, who apparently are stretched too thin on Monday mornings between 2am-4am due always having to be dispatched to Lucas? The cops are always tied up there pretty much leaves the rest of the area open to crime at that time.

Steve McKeen

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

This is exactly about morality. The Township board has worked hard to place cameras in minority neighborhoods. The Township board has worked hard to shut down minority-owned party stores despite the objections and findings of the LCC. The harrassment of Luca's is in the same vein and uses the surrounding 'neighborhood' as cover for their devious actions. It's shameful an elected official would abuse their powers this much just to punish someone over a long-standing grudge.

K Thompson

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Noise and disorderly conduct are not related to moral or Christian values. This is an off topic argument.Neighbors have a right to sleep; there are noise ordinances on the books. It may not be Luca's that directly causes the problem because the rowdiness occurs outside. But take the opportunity/circumstance out of the equation, the noise goes away. No big moral conspiracy here.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

So its a Christian values thing to work Monday mornings?


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

With the Bistro closing this problem might have cured itself.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

This is kind of irritating. The police care about the person who has to work in the morning, but what about people who do not work a M-F 9-5 job? Unless the business is actually doing something illegal, it IS the responsibility of the police to worry about the patrons. How about the police have a cruiser and a couple officers use Lucas as a base for the evening. If they have other calls they can easily reach them. The people who are trouble will stop going there very quickly.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

"How about the police have a cruiser and a couple officers use Lucas as a base for the evening" Does Lucas have doughnuts on the menu? You may have a solution here johnnya2!

Basic Bob

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Since this appears to be a regular thing, I imagine this group will just gather at another all-night coney in Pittsfield or Ypsilanti. Curious that there are no alcohol or drug-related arrests. That kind of rules out a bar crowd.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

I, too, find it interesting that it is on Monday mornings and only Monday mornings? Saturday or Sunday mornings I could understand. But Monday?? And I must be "out of it" also (translate as "old"!) if Sunday is now the new "bar night" because that's news to me!

Jimmy McNulty

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11:22 a.m.

I've eaten there and they have decent food. As others have mentioned, what is the significance of late Sunday nights/early Monday mornings? I too rarely venture out during those hours, and I'll repeat that usually nothing good happens after midnight. For the owner to re-open during those hours twice before must mean that business is good during those hours. Inquiring minds want to know........

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 10:54 a.m.

"Police officials said the crowds gather at Lucas after local bars close." while I realize the logical, simple solution is to force the Cony Island to close its a bit ironic that the real problem is caused by other businesses who evidently aren't being asked to help solve the problem. Those other businesses would be the bars who send their drunk customers out in to the night at 2AM.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

"while I realize the logical, simple solution is to force the Cony Island to close its a bit ironic that the real problem is caused by other businesses who evidently aren't being asked to help solve the problem." The problem isn't happening at the bars, its happening at the Coney Island. On top of that, why blame the bars? Get to the root of the problem with the government. They are the ones still making alcohol legal and collecting all of their precious tax revenue of off alcohol sales.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

Where you have the bar send it's customers after 2AM? "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here"


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Hi Craig, Not sure I agree with your reasoning here. About a half mile down Washtenaw is a Big Boys that has been open 24 hours for years. Yet, that restaurant is not prone to the same type and/or volume of problems as is Luca's. I would say that that is an indication of a problem specific to Luca's and the clientele/element that they attract. The real question is: why is there such a difference?

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 11 a.m.

I might add a question, where are the nearest "local bars" to that area? The now closed Bistro is the only one that comes to my mind.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 10:36 a.m.

Wow, I'm out of it. Monday mornings and only Monday mornings? I'm so old....back in the day bars weren't that busy Sunday nights. To you young folks: Are bars busiest on Sunday nights now? Or is one group meeting there as a planned activity and the bars aren't really that busy? Sigh....doesn't anyone go to work on Monday mornings anymore?


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I was a sleeper as well. 50 years later, I still am!


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Cash? Didn't you ever go to college and drink until Monday morning? I remember hearing about parties that were like that with the fraternities and sororities. Glad I wasn't one of them. I slept until Monday.

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

so why only monday mornings? the problems don't migrate to tuesday, wednesday, .... other mornings? interesting....


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

Monday mornings are busy because local bars are trying to keep the weekend business going for one more night. This means they are offering specials/promotions/DJs which cater to a specific crowd which tends to come mostly from Ypsi, "The Willow" and sometimes Detroit. For whatever reason, this particular crowd that turns out on Sunday nights has been troublesome. If you look back at many of the problems in A2, you will see it is the Sunday night crowd. At some point almost every bar has tried their hand with this crowd and failed. Necto, 5th Quarter (and Oz), Studio 4 (dream), etc. Now that the city has effectively squahsed (for now) 5th Quarter and Dream, the new SUnday night bar has become Live at PJ's, located on the corner of Huron and First. Drive by there any Sunday night after 1. You will see that the police are almost always there because some fight or disturbance has broken out. They usually show up like shepards and move the crowd out of the surface lot there. If they don't show up, the crowd loiters in the lot all night, blasting their stereos, doing burnouts, and eventually fighting. This crowd used to always go to Bells and Dennys and cause problems there, but the police began moving the crowd from there as well. Plus, I think Denny's started doing something to discourage the crowd on Sundays. Simply parking a patrol car in the lot does not work, by the way. The police usually need to team up and repeatedly tell people to turn off their stereos, not to loiter, and to move on. All the while they are assailed with "you're only messing with me cause I'm black"... WCSD sends cars there proactively almost every Sunday and it still doesn't help deter the troublemakers. Luca's has catered to this crowd. They enjoy the scant business they receive while the majority of the crowd hangs out in the lot and causes trouble. Their attitude is that they will sell some food to make a few bucks and play the victim if a real problem brea


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

Apparently Sunday is still the weekend to some folks and they can stay at the bar until 2 am and party.


Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 10:23 a.m.

I find it quite strange that the building owners have no knowledge of what is happening with one of their properties.

tom swift jr.

Fri, Aug 19, 2011 : 10:20 a.m.

"We get calls from the neighbors south of Washtenaw Avenue in which they are vocally begging us to do something" only because it is so very hard to communicate using mime over the phone.