Bar closing time back on the table in Essex County

LAKE PLACID – A resolution to change Essex County’s closing time for bars from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. is expected to be reintroduced next week.

The original resolution was tabled last month so members of the county’s Board of Supervisors could have more time to talk about the change with their constituents. The two-hour shift would have the greatest impact on three bars in Lake Placid, and the proposal led to a spirited discussion about the issue at a village Board of Trustees meeting March 25.

Supervisors expect to debate the matter at Monday’s Public Safety Committee meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. at the old county courthouse in Elizabethtown. North Elba town Supervisor Roby Politi is a member of that committee. He said this week he hopes the village board will give him some direction as to how he should vote on the resolution – “whether they’re satisfied with the potential change, whether they’re against it or whether they’d like me to request some type of modification.”

Three village bars – Wiseguys Sports Bar and Grill, Roomers Nightclub and Zig Zags Pub – currently close at 3 a.m. The owners of those bars have said the time change would unfairly impact their workers and affect their bottom lines.

“I’m sure we’re going to come up with an hour to advise the supervisor what message to carry back to the county,” village Mayor Craig Randall told the Enterprise.

Politi said he’s confident the village is doing its due diligence.

“I’m hoping to get some kind of discussion from them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Randall met with a group of community representatives this week to talk about issues beyond the closing time. That group included a bar owner, a law-enforcement official and Mary Dietrich of the Lake Placid-Wilmington Connecting Youth and Communities Coalition.

“I’m encouraged that we could get by the topic – the hour that (the bars) are opened or closed – and start talking about, ‘What are the real problems in our community?'” he said. “I’m encouraged to believe two things are going to happen. One, I think, is the owners of our local bars will put some thought into what they can do to help CYC address some of our youth issues.

“And at the same time we heard why some of the public intoxication issues on Main Street don’t really get addressed as well as we’d like to see them done.”