License to Cook

A series of early morning shootings in Hartford has prompted city leaders to propose new law requiring late night food establishments to get a city issued license.

If you walk by Papa’s Pizza in Hartford after 7pm, you’ll find an empty restaurant. It’s been that way since a weekend shooting that killed one and injured 4 others earlier this month.

“I remember that night I heard sirens coming right here. They kept coming. I knew something was wrong,” said Mark Bibbins of Hartford.

Those shootings got the attention of city leaders who are now proposing new laws requiring late night food establishments to get a city issued license.

“The city is taking this seriously. We want business that serve food from 1:30 to 5am to understand that we can’t condone criminal activity on their premises like what we saw the last couple of weeks.”

Ironically the business that triggered the proposal wouldn’t be affected. That’s because Papa’s Pizza is no longer a late night establishment. The owners voluntary decided to close early from now on.

Business owners in the area say the proposal unfairly targets them. They also don’t agree with the Mayor’s proposal requiring them to hire police protection at their own cost. But many residents say the proposals are steps in the right direction.

“It will help them find the establishments that have repeated offenses. They need to do something because Hartford is getting dangerous,” said Bibbins.

“We now know that we need to do more and that’s what we are trying to do,” said Councilman Matt Ritter

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