SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — The Springfield License Commission has voted down a proposal by Mayor Sarno to have a 1:00 a.m. curfew on all bars in the city.
James Leydon, Communications Director for the Mayor told us the commission voted 3 to 2 tonight against the 1:00 a.m. curfew proposal.
This means bars will be able to operate as they do now with a 2:00 a.m. closing time if they so choose.
Some Springfield bar owners we talked with this evening are celebrating the License Commission’s vote.
The owner of Samuel’s at the Basketball Hall of Fame told ABC40 the decision saved his business.
“I’m really proud of the commission tonight. I think the city made a good decision tonight. I think they have some challenges, but their challenges are isolated to certain communities. Those communities aren’t’ the Hall of Fame, they’re not Indian Orchard, they’re not Hungry Hill, they’re not Forest Park. The problem is very isolated,” explains Eddie Grimaldi, Owner of Samuel’s.
He says if the curfew had been pushed back to 1:00 a.m. it would have had such an impact on his business that he probably would have had to lay off most of his staff or close completely.
Mayor Sarno had been pushing for the idea of closing bars at 1:00 a.m. or the idea of at least banning re-entry into bars after 1 o’clock, similar to what Northampton currently does.
His reasoning was that crime rates increase after 1:00 a.m. taking police away from more important issues.
“I am very disappointed in the License Commission’s vote. My Administration has been steadfast in continuing to combat these establishments that cater to underage patrons, gangbangers and weapon carrying thugs. Our initiative in strong control of entertainment licenses has worked. The Springfield Police Department’s stats show a substantial decrease in crime with the way we are dealing with these establishments,” says Sarno.
Mayor Domenic Sarno is calling on the License Commission to get tough with the establishments that do not want to play by the rules.