Erie County Clerk proposing 2am bar closing time

Allentown bars say no-way, while some downtown establishments are open to the idea

Erie County Clerk pushes for 2 a.m. last call

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs is pushing for a county-wide early “last call.”

If the legislature gives the green light, bars in Erie County would stop serving at 2 a.m. instead of a 4 a.m.

“We’re going to lose 40 hours for our bartenders, we’re going to lose 50-60 hours for our kitchen staff, we’re going to lose 50-60 hours for our floor staff,” said Andrew Love, Manager of DBGB and Gypsy Parlor in Allentown.

For Love, and many other Allentown and Elmwood Village bar owners, an early close isn’t appealing.

Jacobs told News 4 the change would bring Erie County in line surrounding areas, and likely cut down on the number of intoxicated people crossing county lines.

“Because we’re the only County with a 4 a.m. closing time and all the other counties around us are much earlier, we tend to draw people frequently who have been drinking, the bars close and they want more, so they come into our county,” he said.

Some bar owners are on board with Jacobs.

“This is new Buffalo,” said owner of Soho Burger Bar, Jay Manno. “The old Buffalo is steel, and drinking until four in the morning and you know, three shifts. But we’re finally hanging our hat on something else. I don’t really think it makes any sense anymore.”

Manno told News 4 the early close would also give his staff a chance to get home at a reasonable hour.

But Allentown bar owners told News 4 they run a different operation than the larger bars downtown. For them, later hours is a chance to cash in.

“We do a huge amount of business from those hours and they’re trying to take it away. And the real issue is, do you want to be a big city or do you want to be a sleepy small town? And Buffalo, we’re moving forward, why would we digress you know?” said Gabrielle Mattina Alfieri, owner of DBGB and Gypsy Parlor.

This isn’t the first time the county has tried for an earlier last call.

Jacobs said the main goal is to maintain public safety, “Forty percent of all fatalities, driving fatalities, are alcohol related and it’s four times more likely at night.”

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