BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Nightlife is about to change in Buffalo's Entertainment District. A law that bans underage patrons after 10 p.m. will now extend to Thursdays, a popular night for college students.
Some business owners see this as a major threat to the economy downtown now that those under 21 won't be allowed to commingle with adults. But other bar owners along Chippewa Street claimed rowdy kids at night were giving the strip a bad name and called for the ban.
Mayor Byron Brown agreed to the ban on commingling, with one caveat: Thursday nights would be set aside to allow kids on the strip, after 10 p.m. for a six-month trial period.
The Common Council met Tuesday and the commingling issue wasn't even on the agenda. Therefore by default the sunset provision goes into effect at the end of the day.
Ellicott District Councilmember Reverend Darius Pridgen sponsored the commingling ban with the six-month trial period. Pridgen said now that kids are no longer free to roam the strip after 10:00 at night, it should be safer for everyone.
"Because we won't have a concentration of bars that are all doing commingling at the same time. You might have one on one side of town, and another on another side of town, and it is just easier on the police issue," he explained.
Dominic Paladino, a manager at Bada Bing, said his night spot didn't participate in the six-month trial and he is glad it is over. He says sometimes kids ran amok and scared away his customers.
"They get a bad taste to come downtown; they think it's not safe," Paladino said. "They think there is just mad chaos going on, and I think it is a good thing that it is not going to happen any longer."
Last Thursday was actually the last "College Night" and Pridgen pointed out the ban on the under-21 crowd only applies to the Chippewa Entertainment District. He reiterated those bar owners are the ones who asked for it.
Other areas of the city are not affected by the under-21 ban.
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