blog by Ben Tsujimoto • March 21, 2012 @ 8:53am
In a rather bizarre saga that’s had its share of twists and turns, Elmwood Avenue Greek restaurant/bar Acropolis has had its demands for an upstairs bar shot down by the City of Buffalo’s Common Council, 8-1.
Acropolis, stationed at 708 Elmwood, was approved for a second-floor patio, but tight controls on its open hours and music have been laid down, according to a report by Buffalo News City Hall reporter Aaron Besecker.
From Besecker’s report, Acropolis’ upstairs patio must close at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursday and at midnight Friday and Saturday. Music inside the restaurant must be silenced at 11 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays, 1 a.m. on Fridays and 2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
“[Tsouflidis]’ claiming he’s going to sue,” Common Council president Rich Fontana told WIVB’s Diana Fairbanks. “Whatever. If he wants to sue, let a judge decide. But the district council member is doing his job, we’re doing our job and we just want to see how we can help him. If he doesn’t have an upstairs kitchen, I don’t see why he needs an upstairs bar. Plain and simple.”
The strict regulations were implemented as a result of noise complaints from a few of the restaurant/bar’s neighbors stemming from DJs that Tsouflidis invited on weekends. This is where the story turns into more of a “he said vs. she said” type of quarrel which points to the larger question: is Elmwood Village intended to be a mostly quiet residential village, or is it meant to be an area with a thriving nightlife?
In a Buffalo News article written by Mark Sommer on Feb. 28, Common Council member Michael LoCurto, who’s the Council’s representative for the Elmwood Village was outspoken against Tsouflidis’ intent to turn Acropolis into what LoCurto deemed a “Chippewa-style” nightclub.
“We’re a 30-year business that has paid taxes and is being treated with selective enforcement,” Tsouflidis said to Sommer. “I’m really upset with [LoCurto]. He has really impacted my business in a negative way. He has said for the record that he will kill the bar, so that pretty much kills my dream restaurant.”
Local blogger Dining Rumor, well-acquainted with the restaurant industry in Buffalo, offered his take on the absurdity of the situation, referring to the lack of restrictions on other Elmwood nightlife establishments like Blue Monk and Cecilia’s that draw some of the same college-aged crowd as Chippewa’s nightclub scene. From the Dining Rumor piece, it’s clear that the author feels Tsouflidis’ plans for his restaurant/bar aren’t out of line with the direction that Elmwood Village is heading.
Who’s right, then? Is the city being smartly conservative in what precedent it sets for Elmwood Village, or is it unfairly punishing Acropolis for being progressive when a minority of voices resist?