Two bars close on Lark Street after dispute over hours - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Two bars close on Lark Street after dispute over hours


ALBANY, N.Y. - Two of Lark Street's businesses are now closed for good.

Sunday night was the last call for DeJohn's Restaurant and Pub and Legends Sports Lounge. The two bars closed after neighborhood groups complained to the city about businesses operating beyond the hours permitted.

The owner of the two businesses, John DeJohn, tells NEWS10 ABC he applied for a special use permit to open until 4 a.m. but was denied. DeJohn says it was in his best interest to close the establishments for financial reasons and because he felt some neighborhood groups didn't want him there.

"We are not being able to make it being open until 2 a.m.," he said. "Those are two viable hours of revenue that pretty much run the business."

DeJohn's has been open for 12 years while the neighboring business next door, Legends, served people for six years.

The Lark Street Quality of Life Committee complained to the city after they noticed some businesses were not complying with the hours of operation permitted, serving customers past 2 a.m., which they say negatively affects the quality of life for the surrounding neighborhoods.

DeJohn did apply for special permits to remain open until 4 a.m., but was denied by the city. He did, however, have special permits requiring him to close both businesses at 2 a.m.

Todd Hunsinger, the President of the Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association tells NEWS10 they are not the reason DeJohn is closing. He says the neighborhood groups would not have a problem if DeJohn would operate within the hours permitted, which is until 2 a.m. for both businesses.

"We asked simply that he abide by the hours of operation that were granted to him and his permit," said Hunsinger.

DeJohn had no comment when asked if he stayed open past 2 a.m.

DeJohn owns three other businesses that will still remain open, including Justin's across the street from DeJohn's and Legends. Some bars, like Justin's, are grandfathered into the zoning ordinance to stay open until 4 in the morning.

On Tuesday, DeJohn held a press conference stating that he would be forming his own committee to unite concerned residents and business owners in Albany. The Lark Street Quality of Life Committee says it welcomes businesses that follow the "laws" and "terms" of special use permits.

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