Albany Zoning Board discusses future of Cafe Hollywood

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — When Albany declared a state of emergency, it gave the city the power to immediately close a local bar. But now the investigation begins to determine if the bar is a public nuisance.

The state of emergency was issued at the center of complaints to police and it was held without a hearing.

On Wednesday the first item on the agenda for the Albany Zoning Board of Appeal was to review whether the Lark Street bar Cafe Hollywood is a public nuisance.

This bar was linked to recent gun violence in the city and shut down last week. Albany Director of Planning Brad Glass asked board members to treat this with a sense of urgency.

“There has been numerous reports of violent events over the past several weeks, as well as the last couple of years that have escalated,” said Glass.

The bar was forced to shut its doors immediately and indefinitely after the city declared a state of emergency because of rising gun violence.

“The penalty provision of the nuisance proceeding would allow the Albany Board of Zoning Appeals to discontinue the use of the property for up to 2 years,” said Glass.

The next step would be a public hearing meeting on August 11. Members of the board say they are asking for police records on violent incident at the bar as well as other complaints.

“If the city or Albany Police Department have any records on unreasonable noise or drunkenness affecting the neighboring properties that would also be good for our records,” said Public Utility Law Project Executive Director, Richard Berkely. 

NEWS10 ABC contacted Cafe Hollywood’s owner Collin Rost about Wednesday’s night meeting and did not hear back. While we did not hear back, Rost has previously told News10 how he has felt on this.

“We are going to look into it, we are certainly going to fight it and there might even be a counter lawsuit on this thing,” said Rost. 

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