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New Allentown business restricted to 2am closing

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 07:47:24-04

The debate over bar closing times is heating up again in Buffalo's historic Allentown District. It now concerns a new up-scale restaurant/bar that is planning to open in the 200 block of Allen Street called "Fallie Allen's."

Joe Gugino, one of the new owners, tells 7 Eyewitness News his group is planning to invest over $200,000 to turn the now empty facility into an 80-seat restaurant complete with a 5-star chef. Gugino is hoping to open "Fallie Allen's" in three months time.

"Fallie Allen's" will use space that was once the location for the "La Tee Da" restaurant. However, the plan is running into some obstacles.

Responding to complaints from residents about an over-saturation of liquor licenses in the area where the new facility is being located has the Allentown Association calling upon the Buffalo Common Council to grant a special use permit with four restrictions.

Gugino said his group agreed to close his patio early and not have dancing or a disc jockey as part of the restrictions.

But the one restriction that is causing concern is a requirement that "Fallie Allen's" closes at 2 a.m., even though other nearby bars and restaurants are allowed to close at 4 a.m.

The Buffalo Common Council will vote on the special use permit on Tuesday, but if it passes with the 2 a.m. restriction, Gugino says it could force a "re-look" at whether the project is still worth it.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly spoke with Gugino and others about the new restaurant.