Committee recommends extension of hours for disciplined tavern

A 90-day review of the disciplinary hearing for Gerolmo’s Tavern, 2506 52nd St. was performed at the Licensing & Permit Committee meeting last Monday.

The business’ owner Mary Ann Sacripanti appeared in front of the Committee. Both the Chief of Police John Morrissey and the Asst. Chief Bill Bridges stated that the number of police calls has drastically been reduced since the orders were put in place last November.

There was only one call recently, on March 24 where Police Officer Shawn Morton was dispatched to the tavern. There was a report of a “large crowd;” the police officer arrived at the tavern to find 3-4 people out in the alley smoking. Since he was aware of the order of the back door not being used after 8 p.m., he then filmed the activities using the squad video. Patrons were coming outdoors to smoke and then going back inside.

Sacripanti stated that the door is open when a handicapped person is in the bar. She felt that having only one incident in six months was “pretty good.”

Alderperson Patrick Juliana stated that the handicapped person exception was not in the order. The door was to remain closed after 8 p.m., period.  He felt that the order should be extended for the same period of time and, if there were no problems through the summer, then the order could possibly be lifted.

Sacripanti asked the Committee how long this order was going to be in place. “Will I still be alive? Will it be in the next 30-40 years?” She stated that closing at midnight has completely ruined her business. Six employees had to be laid off since October. With the summer months coming, the air conditioning will have to be on, which will add to her business costs. She stated that she’s been losing $5,000/month at the very least. She’s been working 10 hours a day, seven days a week. “How much longer will this go on?”

Chairman Ray Misner asked Sacripanti what she’d like this body to do. She requested at least another hour of business. Instead of closing at midnight, she requested to stay open until 1 am. “Young kids go out at 11 pm, and by 2 am, they are just getting started. Could this body bend a little?”

The Committee went into closed session for about 15 minutes and, when they resumed, Alderperson Juliana moved that the hours be lifted. “As alderman for your district, I’m making this motion. But, if the door starts opening up, I will move for another hearing. There are to be no exceptions for handicapped people. Closed is closed,” Juliana said.

The Committee voted 4 to 1 to revise this order; Alderperson Anthony Nudo voted against the motion.

Final approval will be placed on the City Council’s meeting agenda for April 18.

“We are meeting you in the middle,” Misner said. “We want to help your business. Talk to your staff, and have them help you stay on the straight and narrow. We don’t want you to have to come back here.”

She was cautioned not to start back on her normal business hours schedule until and if the City Council approves it next week.


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