Public speaks out about local bar with nuisance complaint

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany Zoning Board heard from the public Wednesday night about a nuisance complaint against what the city calls a problematic Lark Street bar.

“This is a struggle for me. That’s all I can say,” said Collin Rost, owner of Cafe Hollywood.

Rost says it’s been an uphill battle fighting for his bar that was shut down last month.

“Maybe the mayor and chief of police can maybe give me some courtesy and say ‘we might have made a mistake on your business,’” he said.

The first item on the Albany Zoning Board of Appeals was hearing from members of the city, Albany Police Department, and Cafe Hollywood. They all presented their case on whether the bar is a public nuisance or not.  

“No one wants to see a business that is shuttered for a period of time,” said Albany Common Council Member Richard Conti.

Conti says, after receiving records of violent incidents, noise and traffic complaints from the bar, they had to treat this with a sense of urgency.

“We want to put in place common sense solutions and deal with these issues that have been creating this problem not just for the establishment but for the whole street and neighborhood,” said Conti.

Rost says his business is not to blame for the violent crime. 

“We are not the perpetuators of that, and we are not instigating it. We go well above and beyond, and we actually have a professional security company working for us,” he said.

A decision has not been made on the status of the bar.

However, the public hearing is being left open for anyone to add additional information. It will be open for the next two weeks until the upcoming meeting on August 25.

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