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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Sackets Harbor issues letter to village bars and restaurants about public intoxication


SACKETS HARBOR — The village has asked bars to help reduce public intoxication.

A letter, sent Tuesday by Mayor F. Eric Constance, follows up on a series of complaints made at village meetings.

The letter notes that some patrons were so intoxicated that “they were not able to function in a coherent way” and cites a pair of incidents of people found passed out in residences they thought were their own — but weren’t.

Mr. Constance said he hoped the letter would help develop more cooperation between the village and its businesses.

“This is supposed to be bringing the businesses into the equation,” he said.

In addition to notifying businesses of the village’s effort to increase police presence from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends, the letter asked business owners to contact the village about potential training sessions for employees.

Mr. Constance said the training would be primarily online course work run through the state Liquor Authority, focusing on checking patron identification and stopping service for intoxicated customers.

“They’re things they should be doing,” Mr. Constance said.

Some of the businesses that received the letter said they already had procedures in place to limit such occurrences.

Ryan Chaif, owner of the Hops Spot, said he wanted to make sure the village was a place where customers could feel safe.

“We want to keep this a fun village for people to come out,” Mr. Chaif said.

Sitting at a table just outside the restaurant, he said he didn’t want the village to get a reputation for out-of-control drinking and partying.

“That’s not what Sackets is about,” Mr. Chaif said.

At the Lake Ontario Playhouse, Melanie A. Berry, a manager and bartender, said its earlier closing time compared with its downtown neighbors has led to few incidents at the comedy club’s bar.

“We don’t get terribly busy or rowdy,” Ms. Berry said.

She said staff watch for the quantity and type of drink served to avoid issues with customers.

Other businesses receiving the letter include Tin Pan Galley, Boathouse, Goodfellos, Anchor Dining, the Brew Pub, J. Finns and the American Legion post.

A full copy of the letter is online at

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