Bar safety in Rochester a growing concern - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Bar safety in Rochester a growing concern

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- A topic of high contention now in Rochester is the safety of the bars in the city. The concerns are coming from a list of incidents at Whiskey Bones last week. So, what are bars doing to protect their customers? 

When you head out for a drink, be aware that the bar you go to is looking out for you.

"We have a door guy at each end of the bar. The police are a good presence downtown," explains Brad Boroski They do walkthroughs when it gets busier."

They want to prevent situations like the ones at Whiskey Bones last Saturday, including fight outside that involved 30 people which has the attention of city leaders.

There are city-wide precautions in place. Bars like Big Brad's are a part of a Safe Bar program in cooperation with the Rochester Police Department.

"You've got a list of certain people that after they've done things, aren't allowed into the bars. I think there's about 17 or 18 bars participating in that now. So, we check that list and make sure and we make sure we don't let those people in."

And even if something were to happen, the location of downtown establishments compared to places like Whiskey Bones becomes an advantage.

"So, I mean, we've got this for a reaction time, where you have 10 minutes, 15 minutes, a lot can happen and a lot can escalate," says Boroski. "So, I think where we're at helps us, too, in the fact that there are a lot of bars."

It is becoming a cooperative effort, with bars downtown working together to keep the area safe and the night enjoyable. Even with that, there is always the chance of things turning sour.

"Oh, I think you're always going to have times where things will escalate just because alcohol is involved," says Boroski. "I mean, people seem to think they're Superman when they're drinking."

In the end, the safety of the customers will always come down to awareness of those at work.

"You've got to watch how stuff is escalating," Boroski adds. "You need to be on top of it and be a little more preventative, but you can't push it outside the door and pretend it is not there anymore, either."

A public hearing was called by interim City Council President Randy Staver and City Council member Michael Wojcik to assess the safety of the Whiskey Bones establishment.

The meeting is scheduled to take place early next week.

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