Pizzeria L'Italiano Owner Supports Curfew, Wants More Crowd Control

7:40 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-Rosario Mascali, the owner of Pizzeria L'Italiano on S. Elm St. in Greensboro considers closing his restaurant earlier on Friday and Saturday nights.  His business has stayed open late on the weekends for nine years.

Unruly crowds have become more common in downtown Greensboro. Last weekend, police arrested several young people after a crowd of 500 became unmanageable.

Read here: Weekend Fights Downtown Lead To Several Arrests

Rosario Mascali opened his pizza restaurant, Pizzeria L'Italiano, in 2004.  It's a popular spot for people looking for late-night dining, especially when the bars close at 2 am. In the summertime, there's a line out the door.

Mascali serves at least 200 people on a Friday or Saturday night between midnight and 3 am. He likes to stay open late because of the large amount of customers but recently, he's questioning if it's worth the headache.

"We see groups of 20 kids, 15 kids come in not spending a dime, just go to the bathrooms, don't even ask, can I use? Although I have a sign outside that says no public restrooms. They just sit down, try to plug their phone in, charge their phone, not spending any money," said Mascali.

Mascali told WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford the problem of young people loitering has gotten worse in the past three years. He said they'll clog the toilets, dirty the bathroom, and leave the place a mess.

News 2 also interviewed Mitch Clark, the owner of Jimmy John's which is also located on S. Elm Street. Along with Pizzeria L'Italiano, Jimmy John's is the only other late night dining option downtown. The sandwich shop stays open until 3 am.

Clark shares the same concerns as Mascali. He says six months ago, a gunshot victim ended up in his store. Police and first responders were inside his store and the restaurant was forced to close early.

The two business owners support the new curfew. Mascali and Clark believe it gives police a tool to better control the environment and prevent large and rowdy crowds.

Neither owner has decided to close early just yet. They'll wait to see what effect the new curfew has on their business.

Read here: Greensboro City Council Approves Youth Curfew

WFMY News 2

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