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Lynn bar owners to hold rally

LYNN – Local bar and restaurant owners will hold a rally on the steps of City Hall Feb. 11 to acknowledge public concern for the rollback of bar hours from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m., and to attempt to find mutual ground with Mayor Edward J. Clancy Jr. on the matter.The gathering is scheduled to take place from 2-5 p.m. and coordinators anticipate it will draw between 200-300 people.Cache Night Club owner and rally coordinator Robert Carrion said the event, organized by the Lynn Bar and Restaurant Association, is designed to draw attention to a loss of business at local bars and clubs due to the rollback.”We’re trying to reach out to the mayor and he doesn’t want to reach out to us,” he said. “This rollback is not only affecting bars and restaurants, but salons, barber shops, clothing stores and other places because people just aren’t going out anymore. They say it’s only one hour, but if we have to have last call at 12:30 p.m., it’s not enough time to serve alcohol.”Following the Licensing Board’s unanimous decision in December to rollback bar hours from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. starting Jan. 2, Carrion said the rollback has financially devastated local bars struggling to remain in business, with some threatening to close.”A lot of businesses are saying that they’ve had a loss of 60 to 70 percent of business since the rollback, and I’ve gone from making $13,000 to $14,000 a week to $5,000 a week and 23 employees to nine,” he said. “So I’m beyond upset because this situation is out of our control.”Carrion said he and other bar owners have submitted numerous letters to Clancy in an attempt to come to a solution of having bars open until 2 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but so far have not heard a response.”No one is willing to compromise,” he said. “And the sad thing is that a lot of people have money invested in the city. We’re not just thinking about ourselves, we care about this city and we’ve had a lot of meetings to strategize and reach out to the mayor.”Carrion said despite Clancy’s claims that the rollback was enacted for the safety of the city, he said his assertions are unfounded, and that the real problem in the city lies with gangs and drugs, not the clubs.”Even the Chief of Police said gangs and drugs are the main problem, not clubs,” he said. “He (Clancy) knows what’s going on in the city, but if he won’t listen, then there’s nothing that we can do.”For more information contact Carrion at 617-312-9176.

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