Sunday, January 15, 2012


By Sarah Trefethen Sentinel Staff
WINCHESTER — The owner of a Route 10 convenience store wants to take his business in a different direction.

John E. Pasquarelli wants to shut down P-Square’s Country Store and open a private club in its place. The Winchester planning board is considering his application for a change of use of his property.

If the application is approved, the new business will be called P-Square’s Private Music Club, Pasquarelli said in an interview.

“A lot of people in my family have played music all their lives. We like to play music and have a few beers, and that’s what we’ll be doing at the club,” he said.

By making it private, Pasquarelli said he hopes to control who can come into the club, where he plans to sell beer and wine.

“We don’t want to disturb the public, but we don’t want the public disturbing us either. I don’t like the idea of any Joe Schmoe off the street walking into my building,” he said.

But Pasquarelli’s proposal has already disturbed some.

A public hearing on his application ran for an hour and a half at the Dec. 19 planning board meeting before it was continued, according to draft minutes.

The hearing will resume Monday.

“The biggest, most significant concern was having a public bar in Winchester, which a lot of people don’t think Winchester needs,” said Brian Moser, a planning board member who was present for the hearing.

Pasquarelli has not officially incorporated his club with the state. Uncertainty about what the club would be like might contribute to public concern, according to Moser.

“If somebody came in and said ‘we want to turn this into an Eagle’s Club or an Elks Club,’ we would at least have some idea,” he said.

But Pasquarelli says it won’t be all that different from something that already happens.

A group of about 25 musicians have been meeting at the store for a number of years, he said.

“One of my criteria is going to be, to be part of our group, or club of musicians, you have to play music,” he said.

Closing the convenience store, which Pasquarelli said has lost money for as long as he has owned it, would be a way to downsize the business in the hope of making it sustainable.

But some are worried that Pasquarelli has more in mind for the club than music and beer.

At the Dec. 19 meeting, planning board member Kim Gordon said the club is being marketed as a “gentleman’s club” and moved to have the application reconsidered under the town ordinance that governs adult book stores, according to the meeting minutes. The motioned failed.

Moser confirmed that rumors of plans by Pasquarelli to provide adult entertainment have circulated for about a year, but adult entertainment is not allowed in Winchester.

“I can’t speak for everyone on the board. For myself, if he plays by the rules he’ll get it,” Moser said.

Pasquarelli dismissed the rumors, pointing out that he is an army veteran and lives on the premises with his wife and 14-year-old daughter.

 The planning board will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in Winchester Town Hall.

Sarah Trefethen can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or


talk about just plain idiocy said...

Seems Mr. Moser has already predetermined his vote, should he not now recuse himself? He hasn't even heard any testimony yet he's already willing to approve? Just what we need, allowing this guy to operate a private club, wanna bet the cops would be out there on opening night?

Don't be fooled said...

I think Mr. Moser thinks if everything that john wants is legal and he takes the correct steps, how do you stop him. Not to worry, if anyone can screw things up John will, he won't be open long. Maybe the town band can practice there. I think John has a little problem with the truth.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a little known escape clause in the zoning ordinances which essentially said that as long as people followed all the requirements, they couldn't be stopped from doing something unless the board felt it wasn't in the best interest of the town. It is essentially a clause that overrides all others and gives the planning board ultimate subjective decision making.

Perhaps someone has the time to look it up. If I recall correctly it was near the front in an introductory type section. I never approved of it being used against legitimate businesses,s but in this case ...

Anonymous said...

I work second shift but I really want to know what happened at the last meetings about Johns strip club and the school budget. Did anyone go? can you post what happened? Thanks

Anonymous said...

At Monday nights meeting the board received information as to why this would be considered illegal; yet the Chairman at the urging of another member refused to deny his incomplete application allowing him more time and continued the hearings for a later date.

Anonymous said...

The Budget Committee cut the School Budget to 9.1 million. But if we all don't show up at the School Deliberative meeting,all the teachers and school board members and their supporters will vote to put it all back just like last year and screw us again next year with another tax increase to cover their wild spending.

Anonymous said...

I am a business owner, a veteran, grandfather, and musician. I have been going to Psquare's for a long time. Psquares has NEVER been nor will ever be a "strip club." It appears that rumors and gossip continue about a place that is nothing more than a PRIVATE CLUB FOR MUSICIANS are going to shut down a place that has done absolutely nothing wrong. Many local bands use Psquare's as a FREE place to rehearse. Congratulations W"incest"er for being the pitchfork and torch mob. You fear something that is beautiful, creative, and bring a lot of happiness and peace to a lot of people.

Kenny from Troy said...

You are either quite the liar or a dumbarse as John has been touting all over town he WILL have adult entertainment NO MATTER what the law or the town says. Right now he illegally has live entertainment .. with no permit .. at his store and calls it a jam session; yet he charges people who come. I know, I go there and have for some time. I used to think John was a really nice dude, but after watching him and listening to him and seeing how he treats those who disagree with him, I no longer go there. he's a two faced person with a twisted mind.