18+ Thursdays Could Return to Chippewa

October 12, 2012 Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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October 12, 2012 Updated Oct 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Now that a weekly, one night exemption to allow 18- to 20-year-olds to enjoy Buffalo's Chippewa Entertainment District has expired, city lawmakers said Friday they are considering bringing it back.

"Right now there's nothing in front of us. And so until something is in front of us then that's when we can vote up or down on something," said Majority Leader Demone Smith, who represents the city's Masten District.

One reason why the law, which banned anyone under the age of 21 from patronizing Chippewa businesses, was allowed to sunset as originally intended without renewal is because business owners never asked for an extension.

"That just shows you that they're not engaged in the process, which isn't good business," Smith said.

Council President Richard Fontana said he would consider extending the Thursday exemption, but only after talking with police.

"A case has to be made to extend it. And maybe put a new sunset provision in for next year. Maybe go a little longer this time. And those types of talks had to occur in August, July," Fontana said.

The law went into effect last Spring, allowing downtown nightclubs, bars and taverns to cater to young adults not of legal drinking age on Thursdays only.

The council passed the law at the urging of Mayor Brown, who said young people are responsible for much of the violence and crime in the neighborhood.