ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Lounge on North Lake Avenue is not the only Albany property the city is targeting to end gun violence. After a long battle, Cafe Hollywood on Lake Street is legally allowed to open but with restrictions.
The doors are open and the lights are back on, but Cafe Hollywood Owner Collin Rost says he faces new challenges.
“After reopening last week I realized after Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that I didn’t have employees, stock or money,” said Rost.
Back in July, Cafe Hollywood was forced to shut down after Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan declared a state of emergency after a number of violent incidents were linked to the bar.
Rost says after being closed for months with no income, he just wanted his livelihood back.
“That’s why I decided to suck it up a little bit and said all right fine you guys get your way. But I still need to operate, have a business and get my employees back in here,” said he.
Cafe Hollywood could look different as part of the city reopening agreement has new restrictions. The bar’s capacity went from 126 to 75 people. Every night the bar will close at midnight.
“We have fewer hours, less, people, no live entertainment, designated smoking sections and more security,” said Rost.
To stay open Rost is required to follow these new restrictions for 2 years with an incentive.
“About 6 months from now as long as I don’t have any violations I’m allowed to only increase my hours by 1 hour,” said he.
Rost says the open sign may be up and running, but before he can fully serve customers this Friday he needs staffing.
“I don’t want to give up on this place and I want to bring it back close to where it was before,” said he.