ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Comedy at the Carlson was ready to reopen.
They had comedians lined up and previously laid off employees coming back.
That’s because as the Finger Lakes region entered phase three of the reopening process they were told by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, which is taking point on reopening process in our region, they could open because they were a bar.
However, last week the State Liquor Authority rolled out new guidance and explicitly said exotic dancing and comedy shows were still prohibited.
“We have been following every rule to a ‘T’. And we understand most of the rules are for our safety. We get it, we want to be safe. But this particular rule seems to be more opinion based, not facts on any science or anything like that because if I was to have eight people up here as part of a band playing up here…that is safer than one human being telling jokes? I don’t understand it myself,” said Comedy at the Carlson owner Mark Ippolito.
Those at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce told News 8 Comedy at the Carlson had done everything right as they prepared to open.
“I want to commend Mark and his colleagues for the work they’ve done to abide by the guidelines and to keep the economy here moving in their own way,” said Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Chief of Staff Marc Cohen. “As the guidelines change, so too what’s allowed. When SLA determined that no entertainment except incidental music it precluded them from being able to operate fully. And even though they’ve done an incredible job to abide by the guidelines the rules are what they are. And the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce will work with them to make the state aware of what they’re doing to abide by the guidelines and that goes for any industry.”
Ippolito says if the state’s guidelines don’t change by the end of Friday he’ll have lay off employees again.