Some want Buffalo bars to reconsider closing times

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo bars close in the wee hours of the morning, but some people would like businesses to reconsider that. This comes after three people were shot outside an Elmwood Village bar over the weekend.

There’s no word on any arrests or charges in connection with that shooting yet. However, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia is calling on bar owners to remember their obligation to keep customers safe. He says Buffalo’s bar owners need to weigh their financial gain with the potential liability of staying open past 2 a.m.

We spoke with one bar owner on Buffalo’s west side who says she’s had very little problem staying open until 4 a.m. But for a different owner on Franklin Street, it’s not worth the headache staying open late, telling us closing at 1:30 or 2 a.m. hasn’t hurt business.

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“I feel like all the bars need to be on a level playing field and to try and get things changed,” Conor Hawkins, co-owner of The Banshee Irish Pub, said.

But Gabrielle Mattina, owner of The Gypsy Parlor, says “Why don’t we blame the person that started the problem rather than blaming the owner or the restrictions? It’s like, ‘No, let’s blame this individual.’ Why does one person have to ruin a good time?”

“To be able to get their support and their buy-in is critical to solving this piece of crime that we oftentimes see in entertainment districts,” Councilman Mitch Nowakowski said.

Nowakowski said he would like to take a closer look at nightlife crime statistics with Buffalo police before moving forward.

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Patrick Ryan is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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