Pissing Match

A Broad Street bully battles local business owners in Francisville.

By Aaron Kase
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 14 | Posted Aug. 31, 2010

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Photo by Aaron Kase

Broad Street doesn’t really start hoppin’ until around 10 p.m. on a Friday night. Hip-hop bumps from polished low riders parked in the lot at the BP gas station, while across the street employees carry enormous speakers into Cobre Restaurant and Bar. A few doors down, massive security guards stand outside Coo’s Sports Bar, awaiting the rush. More and more cars arrive, parking on both sides of Broad and on the side streets. This stretch of North Broad Street, though a magnet for nightlife, is also known for its plethora of homeless services in the area. Attracted by prospects of food and shelter, crackheads and vagrants wander the streets, begging passers-by for money and cigarettes. Homeless men hustle to wash cars in exchange for a few dollars while soiled newspapers, napkins and discarded food packages blow slowly down the street.

Undeterred by the area’s bleak reputation, Cobre and Coos have claimed territory in what they hope is the foreground of North Broad’s revitalization. In the last year, the two clubs have begun attracting hundreds of people to the street on weekend nights. Developers hope the popularity continues so the street can become a more vibrant, lively destination better fitting the “Avenue of the Arts” label that is supposed to cover Broad Street not just south of City Hall but also north to Glenwood, up past Lehigh Avenue in North Philly.

“The vision for that corridor is to have venues that provide an opportunity for dining, nightlife, amenities that people who live in the neighborhood and beyond can enjoy,” says Penelope Giles, president of the Francisville Neighborhood Development Corporation. “Cobre is such a venue. The sports bar is such a venue. We need more of that sort of thing.” No new establishments are currently in the works, although several storefronts currently sit vacant on the block and could have potential to become new bars or clubs.

Not all neighbors are thrilled with the prospect, including one who is very, very angry about changes to the block. Jim Stix, a 15-year resident of the Matthew Baird Mansion set in between Cobre and Coos, has history of conflict with various neighborhood establishments. Now he’s focused his anger on Cobre owner Diana Guzman, who he says turned her back on an informal agreement to be a restaurant, not a club. The conflict has escalated to profane shouting matches and alleged death threats by both sides—and shows no signs of cooling down.

This spring the feud reached a peak. Stix says that Guzman’s son threw a bucket of water on him while he was sitting outside, while the son claims that Stix chased him inside with a knife. Furious, Stix smashed the bar’s front window with a shovel and now has a stay-away order barring him from the premises.

Neither side is backing down.

“This is my neighborhood. I was born and raised here,” Guzman says. “You have a restaurant, you are allowed to play music.”

But Stix says the customers litter and urinate in front of the building, and that the music goes too loud, too late. Guzman says she has gone to great lengths to keep from bothering the neighbors, including employing security to keep patrons away from the apartment and installing a decibel reader inside the apartment building to ensure the music from the club remains unobtrusive. But Stix is unmoved.

“She told me she wanted to be a Puerto Rican restaurant,” Stix says. “Then when she didn’t make any money, she turned it into a club.”

It took two years for Guzman to receive her live-entertainment license after initially deciding she wanted to hold parties in 2007, shortly after opening the bar. She also received a series of electrical , lighting and nuisance violations in the meantime. L&I confirmed that all her licenses are now in compliance and up to date, but people familiar with the dispute say Stix’s objection’s to the zoning change were the main cause of the live-entertainment delay.

Having failed to stop the club from getting licensed, Stix is trying other tactics. Two television monitors in his fourth-floor apartment show a man in a white shirt sitting on the front steps of the building. “Get off the stairs please,” Stix speaks into a microphone, his words projected outside through a loudspeaker. “If you don’t live here, please get off the stairs.” The man on the steps stands up, looks around and walks away.

If people don’t move promptly, neighbors say, Stix is prone to screaming and throwing water on them, though Stix claims he only throws water next to loiterers to encourage them to move.

Others share his complaints about bargoers. “People sit on the stairs and drink, and leave their bottles. They piss all over the door,” says another resident of the Baird Mansion. “Drunk people try to follow me inside, say ‘Can I get a date?’ or ‘Can I use your bathroom?’”

“The bars are a disturbance,” says Shaheed Hudgins, who lives nearby. Similar complaints are found online: “Since the place started “poppin’, the area has been littered with broken glass, people pissing everywhere, light drug dealing going on, fights all the time, and everything else you can imagine,” a resident writes on the PhiladelphiaSpeaks forum.

But bar owners say that some noise is to be expected on a commercial corridor.

“You’re on Broad Street, in a business district, and you’re upset with business?” asks Tom Fario, owner of Coos. “It’s a four-lane highway, not a cul-de-sac.” Fario says he opened the bar in the anticipation of more development coming to the block, converging from both directions. “There’s traffic coming up from the Convention Center, and Temple coming down from Girard,” he says. “The only dry spot is right here.”

Coos opened in November last year, but after a shooting outside in February, the bar was named by Councilman William Greenlee as an inspiration for this spring’s “promoter bill,” aimed at reigning in club violence. Fario says the fight did not start in his bar, and points to his heavy security detail to show his dedication to safety. So far, Coos hasn’t had the same problems with Stix that Cobre has.

“I just try to be respectful of where he lives,” Fario says, making a point to keep his patrons away from the Baird Mansion.

Four stories above, Stix watches the street, vowing to continue the crusade against Cobre and anyone else he feels degrades the block, including any future businesses that disturb the peace.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 14 of 14
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1. jim stix said... on Aug 31, 2010 at 10:16PM

“The owner of Cobre, D. Guzman , who has a history of lying as a result of and when confronted with her illegal behavior , ( see Captain Wilson of the 9th Police District , if you like) committed perjury against me for the second time when she filed a false Police report ( which is against the law) in order to get a stay away order against me.
The current order is in fact reciprocal, and neither she nor her sociopathic son in training or employees are allowed to talk to me at any time , nor threaten me or even stare at me. She falsely claimed that she and I were in an argument on the day that her son threw 2 gallons of water on me, while I was sitting on the stairs of 814 after sweeping the sidewalk, as is my habit. Her son began an altercation with me when he appeared from the restaurant and began screaming at me , and threatening to harm me, which was overheard by another tenant at 814 North Broad . Unbeknownst to me at the time.

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2. jim stix said... on Aug 31, 2010 at 10:21PM

“D Guzman , the owner of Cobre, can be found/seen on you tube videos :
1- standing at the bottom of the stairs of 814 North Broad Street giving me the finger after I called the Police.
2-screaming at me the following-
“Move out of the f----ng neighborhood , you f----ing white bastard”.

I had live at 814 and fought crime and improved this neighborhood for 10 years before this lying piece of shit Guzman moved on my block.
She has no shame, no decency, and no integrity . Nor does her son.
She is in fact nothing but ghetto.
And sadly for her son, a terrible example at being a human being.
They will never get respect from me , unless they get on their hands and knees and beg for my forgiveness after all they have put me through.
And I won’t be holding my breath.
And nor should you.
Thank you.”

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3. jim stix said... on Aug 31, 2010 at 11:05PM


Two more things for now if you please.

1- I don’t consider myself a bully, and I think it’s an unfair naming.
Angry victims ought not be considered as much.
2- Cobre did not have a live music license before it’s opening nor during the first year of it’s laughable operation .D. Guzman always promised and planed to have nothing but a quiet family restaurant. She promised the entire neighborhood and the City of Philadelphia exactly that.
After failing for almost 12 months in her pathetic attempt for patrons, Guzman went to plan B, and she began to host illegal and loud earth shattering bass parties ,which lasted for months until L & I and the Zoning Board put an end to them.
She knew they were illegal from the beginning, in spite of her twisted logic and lies.

The only reason that Cobre is allowed to have live music currently, is sadly the result of the landlord of 814 N Broad Street capitulating and entering into an agreement with the City of Philadelphia and D. Guzman, to allow her a 1 year and legal “trial period” license only.
It is my hope that her license for live music is there after removed .

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4. jim stix said... on Sep 1, 2010 at 01:34AM

““You’re on Broad Street, in a business district, and you’re upset with business?” asks Tom Fario, owner of Coos.


Tom Fario met with an angry coalition of homeowners recently in the neighborhood who were furious with Coos and it’s crowds and their noise, who demanded that Furio change his business practices-- and he summarily and intelligently agreed.
(I chose not to meet with everyone that night , after being asked by the neighbors who went to Furio if I would like to.)
So it’s a little disingenuous of Mr. Fario , to say the least, to claim as he has in your article , that he ought not to have to act responsibly or respectfully of the neighborhood into which he put his bar, because it is in fact in his words “ a business district”.
The homeowners who met him that night essentially convinced him otherwise, all while deciding that he was and is quite obviously , a very decent man.


I welcome the clueless and incompetent Penelope Giles to live on my block without
being disturbed by the sickly business practices and threats by D Guzman of Cobre and it’s patrons , to people who live in 814 North Broad ,that she has so easily from afar and much to my dismay , historically and dangerously ignored. The people who live on this block and the surrounding neighborhood are more important and always will be, than any business that makes money while diminishing the quality of life for those who make this place their home. Giles should just change her middle name , in the event that she has one, to either clueless or even better : ridiculous.

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5. Kingbumps said... on Sep 1, 2010 at 10:40AM

“Stix, you are insane. Its painfully obivious you are stuck in your ways and feel that you own the nieghborhood. Im sure you have done some pretty confrontational things. Who else has cameras and a pa system installed in thier apartment to yell at passers by that sit on the steps. It is not right for an bar to move in and not respect the nieghborhood. By bringing drugs and other forms of lewd behavior, but come on dude this section of the city was never chestnut hill to begin with. Its the hood man. The resturant failed, the owners have to make money so they adapted. Would rather have vacant desolte streets? The way that area is now, what type of business is going to come there? Target, starbucks, walmart? Is this bar really destroying your area? So many corner spots arent up to snuff and the article clearly states that all license and codes are correct and being adhered to. Find another fight that will positivly impact your neighborhood.”

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6. jim stix said... on Sep 1, 2010 at 01:17PM

“The neighbors and myself did many years ago after signing a petition and raising hell, close at 9 pm for the first time, a car wash that had been operational 24 hours a day. It was some of these neighbors, which did not include myself, that met recently with Coos and demanded that he stop having parties at his sports bar and attracting thousands of noisy and pissy people to the neighborhood. The very same kind of crowd that has in smaller numbers, been hanging around Cobre for years.
Aaron the reporter was told about all of this. This fact and many others , Aaron the reporter did not report.
I obviously don’t think that I own the neighborhood, because I’m only one man in it, but I do admit to watching it more than anyone else I know. Unapologetically.
My pa system was installed years before Cobre opened it’s doors, in spite of the poorly written and misleading statements by Aaron , the writer of the article.
People in the building were being regularly accosted and harassed and robbed by homeless people and other predators. On pretty much a weekly basis.
I installed the camera and began asking people to please remove themselves from the stairs nicely, because they are after all trespassing , and the stairs are privately owned, and not a public space. I ask people nicely 2 or 3 times before I get nasty about it. I have not thrown water out of my window next to people who refuse to move from the stairs for 8 months now, after promising my landlord that it would stop.

This fact is another fact that Aaron chose to ignore so that he could further mislead his readers. He is simply a lazy and incompetent reporter, who chose to portray me in a negative light. I told him to speak with several people at the 9th Police District about D Guzman and Cobre, and all of the times that the Police have been called over the years about her shitty business, but he chose not to . The Police were in fact so angry with Guzman, that they sent a representative to the Zoning Board hearing years ago to testify against her and Cobre, so that she would not get a “live music license” because she and her family and patrons were constantly harassing the people at 814 N Broad , and the crowds outside were ruining the neighborhood.
Aaron the rube left out of his article a lot of important and truthful information.
I am an anti racist and well respected and cared for person in this neighborhood, which is something I and many others told him . In keeping with his “negative light “story on me , Aaron of course chose not to divulge this fact to his readers, be they near or far.

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7. Ray said... on Sep 8, 2010 at 11:49AM

“At last, someone who will not back down. Have to agree with Mr. Stix on all points. Are noisy nightclubs the right kinds of businesses for an already beleaguered stretch of Broad Street? Not feeling sorry the restaurant could not make it and that it needs to morph into a nightclub – the market research was not adequate. Really, how many couples actually choose to walk in that area for a night out at a restaurant when they have so many other options southward? Many people view Spring Garden Street as the frontier. Anytime a “Sports Bar” needs to employ bouncers outside, well what do you expect to find inside and is that really a place you should go? Fact is the owners of these businesses do not really care what their patrons do after last call, which is usually causing fights, pissing anywhere, and just acting like morons for the neighbors such as Mr. Stix to endure.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Sep 15, 2010 at 07:51AM

“Your just a stupid asshole who tries to intimidate everyone who disagrees with you. Why don't you mention your criminal record, the time you got into an arguement over loud music at the car wash and broke a bystanders arm with a piece of rebar, pouring piss on people on the front steps, making a pregnant woman get off the stairs, yelling racial slurs at a city employee, yelling at new tenants of your building to get off the steps beacuse you don't know, kicking down coo's upstairs tenants door for putting their trash out on the wrong day, chasing people around the neighborhood with your legal weapons(rake shovels), screaming at people in their face with a megaphone, stalking people's girlfriends and then calling the police and telling them their boyfreind is holding them hostage when she's in the shower, trying to defame people's character by passing out your absurd profanity laced letters to whoever will read them, cursing out 911 operators and police officers. Your an asshole.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Sep 15, 2010 at 08:03AM

“You were not born or raised in that neighborhood. Just beacuse you rent a fourth floor apartment, doesn't give you the right to make decisions for the rest of the tenants in the building. You egged some guy on to point where he broke one of the first floor tenants windows.The whole neighborhood hates you. Your landlord hates you and so do the other tenants. They don't want to tell you to your face beacuse they have to live near you. Your a liar. The worst kind of delousional sociopath. Even worse your a candyass. You make people is that whole area miserable for selfish reasons. I don't care if you go on a tirade next time you see me, I don't care how many people you tell that your going to kill me. Fuck you asshole. I'm not afraid of you and never will be.”

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10. jim stix said... on Sep 16, 2010 at 12:41PM

“the 2 above "anonymous " additions could have been written by Carl McKinney, a pathological lying piece of shit whose long history of drug abuse and drinking and lying to the Police in my neighborhood is well known by everyone, and whose presence in my neighborhood was finally brought to and end recently because the bike shop where he worked part time was alas closed down.

First of all, I don’t have a criminal record . When I was struck twice by a homeless man , once in the head and once in the arm when I raised it in self defense, with a 3 foot section of rebar, I gained control of it and struck him back. It’s called self defense. I have never thrown piss on anyone. I may have told a pregnant woman to get off the stairs. So what. I can’t tell easily fat from pregnant with my camera positioned 4 floors above the stairs. No one who does not live in the building is allowed to sit on the stairs.
There have always been signs that indicate sitting is not allowed. I did not yell racial slurs at a city employee. I have occasionally asked people to get off the stairs without realizing they lived at 814 . It’s a forgivable offense really.
I went to Carl McKinney’s house to deliver a letter to his girlfriend, I was not expecting him to be home, and when Carl refused to allow me to see her, I called the Police and had them show up, so that in front of the Police I could hand deliver the letter to her. I have handed out many profanity laced letters in my neighborhood. There is not one lie in any of them. I repeat-- There is not one lie or inaccurate statement in any of them. They are handed out to educate people in the neighborhood about problems and problematic people , and to draw attention to the illegal activities of businesses and individuals who are actively making the neighborhood worse and dangerous for others.
The tenants in 814 are very grateful , as is my landlord, for my keeping loiterers and criminals off the stairwell. And trash and crack pipes, and empty 40 ounce bottles of beer, and empty condoms, and food containers, and French fries, and throw-up and piss, and etc. etc. etc. , and you get the picture.
The only people who hate me in this neighborhood are crack heads and criminals.
It’s pretty much a short list of ignorant ghetto bitches actually.( male and female)
Also included are Carl McKinney and the lying Guzman bitch who owns Cobre and her piece of shit son, who still refuses to respect me after all these years.
All I do is scream at them to turn down their f---ing music and to otherwise leave me alone and stay away from me at all times.
The only people who I have had a problem with historically in this neighborhood , are people who break the law and refuse to respect other people.

I once kept Carl McKinney’s dog from entering the bike shop, because a little black girl was in there, and she was deathly afraid of dogs. Carl swore up and down to me that his dog would not bite anyone. Ever. Interestingly enough, I was informed recently , years after this event by one of Carl’s friends, that this very same dog went on to bite Carl at least once and tore the forearm of his girlfriend apart so viciously and badly , that she needed multiple surgeries.
Better your girlfriend than that little cute black girl McKinney, you unrepentant lying piece of ghetto shit.

So essentially my enemies around here have earned their status by being ignorant and disrespectful of other people ,and or by breaking the law, over and over again.

I have made this neighborhood a better place to be.
24 hours a day.
Case closed.

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11. jim stix said... on Sep 16, 2010 at 01:25PM

“To the illiterate anonymous piece of shit fool who wrote “Your a liar” :
( in addition to incorrectly spelling the words “ delousional “ , “arguement “ , “boyfreind” , and “beacuse”)
This;
You are unable to prove or substantiate anywhere or at any time , ever,
that I have said anything that is a lie or is untruthful in any of my statements.

If I find out that you are the illiterate ghetto Guzman, your writings and slander and statements will become a part of the upcoming Civil Rights Case against you, for the years of recorded and videotaped threats against my person and property that I have ,and the years of Police reports against you and your illegal behavior and son and establishment that I also have, and all of the illegal conduct by you that has not stopped, which will also include your recent criminal encounter with perjury and your illegal statements to the Police to illegally obtain a stay away order against me.
( All to protect your criminal son who assaulted me with water.)
Would you like to see the video of your son throwing water on me?


Would you care to say anything else at this time ???”

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12. jim stix said... on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:19PM

“Carl McKinney should be aware that charges against him for slander and perjury and lying under oath and lying to the Police while filing a false Police report, are very much in the future very real and ever possible.
He lied to the Police when he gave his statement when he told them that I assaulted him between 20 and 30 times with my fist. He also further compounded his legal worries, by lying also and again, on the stand in the court case which he frivolously and maliciously brought against me.

Carl’s witness did something quite remarkable and totally unexpected by me on the day in question. It’s a day that I will hopefully never forget. He went upon the stand as Carl’s witness , and he took the oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and then proceeded to do just that. He didn’t lie like Carl did , and most importantly, he didn’t lie for Carl. His truthful testimony did in fact conflict entirely with Carl’s lies and testimony. I was stunned . That’s an understatement.
Carl’s witness said in court that I never hit Carl with a fist 20 times or 30 times or even once. ( not to be confused with another “case” known as the “Stands with fist” defense……..lol)

Carl’s case against me was thrown out of court, speedily and rightly so, and the judge looked at Carl disgustingly as he spoke of my victory and freedom to go. I was hoping that the judge was going to lock Carl up just for wasting his time. Instead I got something more important that I had been waiting for ; my life back.”

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13. Anonymous said... on Nov 1, 2010 at 03:02AM

“Your so nuts, just listen to yourself. Nobody reads this crap. Your going to crash and burn and when you do, it will have nothing to do with me. See the difference between me and you, is that I actually feel sorry for you. You just wasted at least a half an hour twisting a bunch of half truths and for what. Good luck with the slander case.”

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14. jim stix said... on Nov 1, 2010 at 04:16PM

“Dear anonymous,
In the event that you have failed to appreciate one very important fact, let me spell it out for you- I don’t give a flying fuck what you have to say, for many reasons.

Firstly, you have attacked me and written lies about me on these pages, over and over again, while you continue to be “ anonymous”. That takes real courage. It’s also against the law. So fuck you .

Secondly, you continue to fail to understand that I have every right to defend myself from the pathologically lying ghetto bitch D. Guzman that owns Cobre . And her customers. And lest we forget, the ghetto bitch that we have been led to believe is her eldest son. And I will continue to rely on the Police Officers from the 9th District to help me deal with their illegal behavior. And any other law enforcement agency that is capable and or willing to help me.

Thirdly, defending myself is never a waste of time. Ever. So you’re wrong again .
You’re pretty good at being wrong ,aren’t you , you anonymous asshole?

And lastly for now, I don’t want and I most definitely don’t need your fucking luck.

p.s. Fuck you again.”

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