Update: Landlord files for eviction of Allentown hookah lounge 2 days after killing
ALLENTOWN, Pa. – An after-hours hookah lounge where a 29-year-old man was fatally stabbed over the weekend is facing eviction, according to court documents.
A landlord-tenant complaint was filed Tuesday in Magisterial District Court by John Labriola against Stefhon Buchanan, owner and operator of the Synergy Hookah Lounge at 1522 Union Blvd.
The filing came one day after Labriola told LehighValleyNews.com he was “going to the magistrate” to speed up eviction proceedings.
The lounge’s lease expired at the end of May, Labriola said, but he agreed to allow the business to stay for a few more months while seeking another location. That agreement was set to end July 2, but Synergy could be forced out a few days sooner.
A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Thursday, June 29, before District Judge Michael D’Amore.
Victim stabbed multiple times
Kevin Tarafa, of Bethlehem, was stabbed multiple times during a fight early Sunday morning inside the lounge, according to Allentown police.
Tarafa was found unresponsive about a block away in the 1600 block of East Greenleaf Street, where he was pronounced dead at 4:45 a.m. Sunday by the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office, authorities said.
Isiah Yeager, 23, of Allentown, was arrested and charged with one count of criminal homicide, police said. D’Amore on Sunday denied bail for Yeager, who was ordered to Lehigh County Jail, court records show.
Yeager is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing June 26.
Lehigh County Coroner Daniel Buglio on Tuesday ruled the deadly stabbing a homicide.
A witness told police he saw the two men arguing inside Synergy before Yeager twice stabbed Tarafa with a knife, the criminal complaint states.
Tarafa walked out of the lounge toward his car parked in the 1600 block of East Greenleaf Street and told the witness he was stabbed by his ex-girlfriend’s brother before he died, according to court records.
Trouble at Synergy
A banner hanging at the back entrance to the lounge reads, “Please keep quiet or no entry.” But neighbors told LehighValleyNews.com that Synergy has brought trouble to the neighborhood, with fights spilling outside the establishment.
In November, two residents voiced concerns about the lounge at an Allentown City Council meeting.
On June 5, a disorderly conduct citation was filed against Buchanan for unreasonable noise at the property. The offense date was listed as Saturday, June 3.
LehighValleyNews.com has not been able to reach Buchanan for comment. A person who answered a call to the business Monday did not provide comment.
Synergy is open from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays, according to its website.
Reporter Jason Addy contributed to this report.