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The Times
  • Herkimer bar owners disagree about outdoor events

  • A Herkimer village board decision to allow a local bar to host outdoor events came under fire during a meeting Wednesday.

    The board had voted earlier this month to allow Amy Mosher, of the Belly Up Pub on West Albany Street, to sponsor outdoor events on Saturdays in the summer. She said she plans to fence off the outside area, bring in bands, hire security guards and charge a cover fee.

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  • A Herkimer village board decision to allow a local bar to host outdoor events came under fire during a meeting Wednesday.
    The board had voted earlier this month to allow Amy Mosher, of the Belly Up Pub on West Albany Street, to sponsor outdoor events on Saturdays in the summer. She said she plans to fence off the outside area, bring in bands, hire security guards and charge a cover fee.
    Pete Caiola, of Pete's Bar on North Main Street, said his customers would have difficulty parking. He also said if someone comes from the outdoor event into his bar, has a drink and goes out and gets into an accident, Pete's could be sued because it was the last place to serve him alcohol.
    Robert Phillips, of the Silverado, said the move would be in violation of a number of village laws dealing with issues such as parking, open beverage containers and a fence law. He asked the board rescind its earlier decision.
    Mayor Mark Ainsworth pointed out the village had permitted block parties on West Albany Street in the past and local bar owners had not complained.
    “The more people are brought to an area, every business is going to do well,” said Mosher.
    “We're just trying to encourage a business,” said Ainsworth.
    Francis Young, who attended the meeting on behalf of Scott Tranter, of Crazy Otto's Empire Diner, asked if the plans called for closing down Albany Street during these events.
    “If it's closed, where are our customers supposed to go,” he asked.
    Ainsworth said the plans have never included closing down the entire street.
    Mosher said he hoped to contact Tranter to discuss joint promotions.
    Trustee Katherine Nichols said the set-up would be the same as for earlier block parties.
    Ainsworth suggested looking for a compromise, such as having fewer outdoor events than originally planned.
    “I'm confused that I'm being asked not to when you've already approved it,” said Mosher.
    She said she wants to plan events on multiple Saturdays to recoup the cost of materials such as the stage, gates and other items needed for outdoor events that could amount to about $7,000.
    Some events could be canceled due to weather, she added.
    She also noted she is still waiting for word on her application for serving alcohol outside.
    Caiola said he had asked to have an outdoor event a couple of years ago and was denied permission because other businesses on Main Street objected. Nichols said the village board did not refuse him.
    “Every business has the right to better itself,” said Phillips, but he questioned allowing a business to expand into the street.
    Page 2 of 2 - He said he is also working to obtain a license to conduct outside events, but added it would be on his own property.
    Ainsworth said the board already informed Mosher that if there were disturbances, the outdoor events would not be allowed to continue.
    He added that if she does not obtain the necessary license, board approval would be a moot point.
    “We have to give it a chance,” said Nichols.
    Trustee Harold Stoffolano said he had abstained when the vote was taken. “I'm not against it, but I didn't think we should jump in for the whole summer,” he said.
    Mosher said if she could only hold one or two events, it would not be worth the expense.
    “If there's bad weather, she could have 10 events scheduled and might only get two in,” said Trustee Bill Markey.
    He added many people go from bar to bar and he did not think there would be that great an impact on other local bars.
    Ainsworth asked Mosher to come back to the board when she has her liquor license and discuss the plans further.
    “If I have to scale it back, I will,” said Mosher. “I wouldn't be comfortable with less than eight events.”

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