Central Café in Plainville closes permanently after motorcyle gang melee

Central Café in Plainville closes permanently after motorcyle gang melee

reporter photo

PLAINVILLE — Central Café will not be reopening after a fight between two motorcycle gangs prompted the Department of Consumer Protection to order the bar to shut down indefinitely.

Department spokesperson Lora Rae Anderson said the business canceled its liquor permit with “going out of business” as the stated reason. 

A sign in front of the business, located at 54 W. Main St., listed it as being for sale. Joe Granato, a real estate agent listed on the sign, said the owners have decided not to reopen.

Shirley Papallo, the permittee of Central Café, did not respond to a request for comment.

The suspension order, issued by Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull on May 21, stated that on May 16 police responded to an altercation at the bar sending bikers fleeing onto the street in an unsafe manner upon their arrival.

“Up to 20 motorcyclists were observed fleeing the premises at high rates of speed and driving over lawns, driving down the wrong side of the road, and driving around other vehicles in an unsafe manner, all while disobeying officers’ signals,” Seagull wrote in the letter.

Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania reported that two similar incidents had occurred at the bar since it moved from Whiting Street in August 2018 and was quoted in the suspension order as saying “it is not likely that we have seen the last of this type of behavior at this location.”

Catania expressed remorse over the permanent closure of the establishment, saying that the police department had a good working relationship with the proprietors. 

Diablos vs. Outlaws

Inside the bar, one patron was found bleeding from a deep laceration on his head and a human bite on his arm, according to the suspension order. He refused to provide police with information, beyond saying he was hanging out before being “jumped.” A second patron, police believe to be an associate of the Outlaws motorcycle gang, was bleeding slightly from a head laceration and refused to cooperate with police.

Police said that some of the individuals seen leaving the premises were wearing leather jackets and vests indicating membership in the motorcycle groups the Diablos and the Outlaws.

The order says an anonymous source told police that members of the Outlaws were on the outside patio when a “significant number of Diablos” pulled into the parking lot and attacked the Outlaws.

All available Plainville officers were called to secure the building. With more suspected Diablos arriving and watching police from the road, mutual aid from three surrounding towns was requested.

“Based upon the foregoing, DCP finds that public health, safety and welfare imperatively requires emergency action … and orders your café liquor permit suspended immediately and premises closed,” Seagull wrote in the order. 

An email Catania wrote to Town Manager Robert Lee, which is quoted in Seagull’s order, said “It is common knowledge at this point that (Central Café manager Robert Papallo) has friends in the Outlaws motorcycle gang. His actual involvement with the gang has yet to be determined.”

Twitter: @leith_yessian


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