Will more businesses shutter during Albany’s State of Emergency?

Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting on Willett Street and Hudson Avenue, The City of Albany declared a State of Emergency regarding gun violence. The same day, the city utilized that added power to shut down Cafe Hollywood without a public hearing.

Collin Rost, owner of Cafe Hollywood, said the cease and desist notice put on his restaurant’s door came out of nowhere.

“The crime that I’m allegedly being tied to happened a thousand yards from this building,” Rost said.

City officials say in the last three months, Cafe Hollywood has been at the center of 20 different calls to police. One of them, in connection to Friday’s shooting. 

“To tie us directly to it is frankly confusing,” Rost said. “Obviously my hope is to reopen again and get my employees back to work.”

Rost said that he has hired two attorneys to fight the closure and will be discussing the legality of his situation with them tonight. He added that there’s been no further communication from the City of Albany.

Pastor Charlie Muller, who recently put the JC Club up for sale due to gun violence, expressed his confusion about the decision to close Cafe Hollywood as well.

“Emergency Order is needed but the proper targets need to be targeted,” Muller said.

Muller said certain corner stores that have been hubs of violence in the city need to be considered.

“I’m not talking about shutting down completely. Then put a curfew on them,” Muller said.

News10’s Stephanie Rivas asked Mayor Kathy Sheehan if the city has plans to shutter other businesses related to gun violence.

“Right now we are not seeing specific locations as the nexus for this violence,” Sheehan said.

She added that the key is listening to residents living in that neighborhood, many of whom rely on services from corner stores.

“We have to be strategic,” Sheehan said. “This is not a one size fits all problem and it’s not going to be a one size fits all solution.”

As for Cafe Hollywood, Sheehan said the city has asked the New York State Liquor Authority to review the restaurant’s liquor license. 

“And we are going to be asking the zoning board [Board of Zoning Appeals] on Wednesday to make permanent, for now, the closure of that business,” Sheehan said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Latest PODCAST episode

More PODCAST: On the Story with Trishna Begam

Latest COVID-19 News

More COVID-19