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The Lodge reopens for private party a day after city shuts it down

Posted at 11:26 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-25 10:32:55-04

Early Monday morning, shots were fired outside The Lodge bar and restaurant on Chippewa, after police say a promoter party got out of hand.

Now, less than 24 hours after the City of Buffalo shut down the facility, it's back open for business, but closed to the public.

The city says the Buffalo School District had a pre-planned private party at The Lodge that would have been hard to reschedule last minute. According to a city spokesperson, The Lodge was allowed to host the party Thursday, but will be shut down immediately after, until a hearing is scheduled between the city and the bar.

The Lodge now adds a dark window to a host of businesses up for sale or vacant on the Chip Strip. Many wonder if Chippewa is being left out of Buffalo's revitalization.

"The area has got a lot more violent, scary, sketchy," said Michael Blasdell, who says he avoids going out on Chippewa. Blasdell says the crowds have become more rowdy and out of hand.

Longtime business owner Jay Manno owns SOHO Burger bar. He has a different opinion about the strip.

"I think the last three to five years have been the cleanest on this street," Manno said.

Manno says he believes in the Chippewa strip and its resurgence. In fact, he just invested more in the strip, opening up Frankie Primo's, a casual dining spot on the corner of Franklin and West Chippewa. Manno says what happened at The Lodge was an isolated incident.

"We've grown up as a city," he said. "Our old ways of thinking are gone. It's time we turn the corner in our dining and nightlife destinations become just that - dining and nightlife."

Most people we spoke with say they feel the Buffalo Police Department is doing a great job patrolling the Chippewa area.

As for The Lodge, a city spokesman says it will remain closed until a hearing is scheduled. The spokesman says talks with the city attorney and the bar about scheduling the hearing are already taking place.