BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Closed for business. Mayor Byron Brown and Buffalo Police shut down Sweets Lounge and Restaurant Monday evening, a day after three women were shot at the bar.
Buffalo Police told News 4 the women, in their 20’s and 30’s, were shot inside the bar Sunday at about 3:00 a.m.
They were taken to ECMC with minor injuries. Buffalo Police are investigating whether the shots were fired from outside after an altercation inside the bar.
The owner will have to appeal to the city to re-open.
“We will not tolerate businesses operating that don’t protect the health and safety of their patrons,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
The immediate order of closure said, “A dire emergency exists as result of the disruptive and violent behavior that has taken place both inside and immediately outside of Sweets Lounge.”
It goes on to say, “Over the past several months an excessive number of calls have been placed to 911 reporting incidents including fights, assaults, customer trouble and loud noise at Sweets Lounge.”
Mayor Brown told News 4 the city has tried to work with the business to address prior problems and improve behavior at Sweets. The shooting was the final straw.
Lovejoy Common Council Member Richard Fontana said before the shooting happened, the owners were scheduled to meet with city officials on Tuesday about its city license. He said the hearing was to address past complaints.
The bar has been at the corner of Schreck and Olympic Avenues for about three years.
“Residents on the street call me daily saying, ‘Councilman shut this bar down, it’s a terrible bar, you won’t believe what they’re doing, public urination, drinking outside’, complaints about noise all night long, fights outside,” said Fontana.
He told News 4 in the past he’s asked the State Liquor Authority to investigate the bar and he’s appealed to the owner.
“We’ve called them many times, sent many letters to the location, I’ve knocked on the door many times,” he said. “Just a ‘get out’ type of mentality, we’re not going to call you, we’re going to go as long as we can, make as much money as we can, until it blows up.”
He hopes the State Liquor Authority will revoke Sweets Lounge’s liquor license for good. We’ve reached out to the SLA for an update on the status of prior investigations and the current liquor license but have not heard back yet.
News 4 also tried to reach the owner of the bar multiple times and didn’t hear back.
This is the sixth bar the city has shut down for violence in the last four years.