SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Springfield bars continue to fight the city's 1 a.m. entertainment curfew but this time with a new compromise.
Some city bars have been granted an entertainment permit since being denied one in April but others who have to turn off the music at 1 a.m. still try to make a deal.
Six bars not granted an entertainment license have offered the city a new compromise. They want to stop entry and re-entry after 1a.m. but continue the music, television and dancing.
Mardis Gras, Fifth Alarm, Center Stage, Scores, Xstatic, and Oz, most of which are strip clubs, proposed the change at a hearing on Tuesday. David Kelly, the lawyer for the bars, says since the 1 a.m. entertainment curfew went into effect in April business has taken a hit.
"Their books are off about 25% certain bars and because what they're seeing is not just people leaving at 1 o'clock…What they're really seeing is people just not coming," said Kelly.
That has a trickle-down affect. "I would say the entertainment business, the people having a good time, staying out taking someone out they probably want to go to a different city," said Gary Miller who has done artwork and design for nightclubs and bars on Worthington Street.
Ken Roberts is an area musician who says the curfew has also affected bars where he plays. "You trim our hours you trim our ability to play. How do we make money? That's how we make our money so essentially you're putting us out of business at least limiting the venues we can play and we're finding that more and more," said Roberts.
The city enacted the entertainment permit policy to help public safety during late night hours but the bars say they have a plan for that as well.
Attorney Daniel Kelly said they resubmitted updated security plans that would include hiring more off duty police officers as well as installing surveillance cameras inside and outside the bars.
Now it's up to the hearing officer and the Mayor to make another decision in the next few weeks.