Some Bars Banning Club Patches Inside

Posted at: 11/26/2013 11:01 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- It's happened a couple times in Rochester, bar owners kicking out or even not letting certain bikers in, and according to the city attorney, it's legal. We explain what bikers are wearing that's getting them banned from bars.

Eric Hythecker has been riding for years even including a bike on his new bar logo, the Flying Monkey Saloon that's opening this week in Hayfield. "This is not just an exclusive biker bar and it's open to everyone, be it families, friends, anybody," he said.

However, there is something they are excluding, not the bikers themselves but any logos representing certain groups. "Our policy is like a lot of other bars because we don't want trouble for instance, and we're going to request there be no colors or club patches worn inside our bar," said Hythecker.

Generally, it's illegal not to let someone in solely because of the logo they are wearing, but there is an exception. "If the name that appears on the clothing or the symbol is that of a criminal gang, and it defines criminal gang to mean a pattern of criminal activity," said Rochester City Attorney Terry Adkins. He says it's not unlawful to deny access to those sporting the "Sons of Silence" logo for example, because of this. "I'm checking around and found that there's quite a bit of resources as to the fact that Sons of Silence is indeed a criminal gang. They have quite a pattern of criminal activity," said Atkins.

"I have heard in the past of other bars having problems," said Hythecker. Being that he wants his new bar to be a welcoming place, he's opposed to any of those symbols that, he says, may make bar goers uneasy. "Anybody who rides is more than welcome to be here but basically leave the attitudes or colors at the door," he said.

Back in 2005, the Sons of Silence sued the North Star Bar in Rochester because it says its members were refused entrance. We reached out to the North Star Bar today, but the owner was unavailable for comment.