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Buffalo Common Council on new bars coming to Allen Street: "We will be disinclined to support that"

Posted at 5:54 AM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 15:09:56-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — SteelLeaf Brewing Company thought 249 Allen Street would be a great spot for its business... but some residents in Allentown think otherwise.

During yesterday's Buffalo Common Council meeting a dozen residents went to disapprove the addition of more bars or alcohol establishments on Allen Street.

7 Eyewitness I-Team investigation found in 2018 more than 1,000 police calls came from the bar filled street. There are 17 liquor license venues from Park Street to Wadsworth Street in Buffalo. Residents say they are sick of the high crime, the loudness, the parking mess, and disruption in the area and relate these problems to the increase in nightlife in the area.

"Our neighborhood has always been a mix and a balance of residences and businesses," one Allentown resident said. "We are not there to bring the commercial strip down we want to live in unity with the commercial strip but there is no longer any balance."

This would be the SteelLeaf Brewing Company's first location. The brewery is working with the community and they say they want to be an asset that could help the neighborhood grow. Owner of SteelLeaf Brewery, Jeff Pitts, says he believes the restaurant would help the area and not hurt it.

The Common Council tabled the decision. Buffalo Common Council member David Franczyk says the council wanted to give the brewery one more chance to try and work things out.

Franczyk says there is strong evidence to deny the brewery because of the Green Code Law.

"If you disrupt the quality of life and peace of mind of residents by particular use, we have a right to deny it," Franczyk says.

Franczyk adds the council is not likely to allow any new bars or alcohol establishments to come to Allen Street.

"In the event that a new owner comes to try to open a new bar we will be disinclined to support that," Franczyk said.

Residents hope the empty spots on the street will be filled with retail space or restaurants.