SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Growing up in the restaurant industry, Michele Roesch has seen her fair share of bad behavior during a night out, but now as a restaurant owner herself, she’s taking a proactive step to try and prevent that. 

“I think it’s really easy to be a passive bystander, well it’s not easy but you get stuck in that position where you’re like well I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to do here,” Michele Roesch, owner of The Brassiere Bar and Bistro and Emerald Cocktail Kitchen said. 

That’s why Raise the Bar, a state-funded program through Vera House is teaching nightlife professionals how to be active bystanders to prevent sexual assault and violence. 

Bud Loura, a restaurant consultant for the Syracuse area helped to bring together bars and restaurants Monday night to learn more about the program. Owners from Apizza Regionale, Kitty Hoynes, Margaritas Mexican Cantina, and others attended the informational forum.

“There’s been some crime in the City and stuff and we want people to realize that Armory Square and Tipp Hill and Downtown Syracuse is still a safe place,”

Bud Loura, Resturant QB Owner

Roesch says by coming together the bars and restaurants in Syracuse can take these proactive steps together to ensure there is a zero-tolerance policy no matter what bar neighbors visit. 

She’s planning to use the training with her current employees at The Brassiere Bar and Bistro in Camillus and with her soon-to-be employees when she opens Emerald Cocktail Kitchen, a three-story rooftop bar to be built in her father’s old bar, George O’deas Pub on Tipp Hill.

“I want people to walk through the doors and know that we’re taking the steps to first of all show them a great time…but also an environment where they’re supported and they’re safe and welcome,”

Michele Roesch, Owner of The Brassiere Bar and Bistro and Emerald Cocktail Kitchen

To learn more about Raise the Bar, click here