The owner of Acropolis Pizza had its chance Tuesday to convince the City of Syracuse that he has upgraded security at his popular late night pizza shop and that it shouldnâ??t be shut down.
Peter Mavrikidis received a â??Notice of Public Nuisanceâ?? letter in October in reference to multiple incidents that have occurred in and outside the pizza shop over the past year. Syracuseâ??s nuisance abatement law allows the city to serve notice on businesses after three arrests take place at a business over 24 months.
The notice cites a 2011 arrest for unlawful possession of marijuana, an April 2012 arrest for criminal possession of a weapon, and an October 2012 arrest for sale of an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21. On September 15, it was reported that someone fired a gun outside of Acropolis and there was a stabbing outside the restaurant on September 22.
Mavrikidis says he has installed a video surveillance system and hired a late night security guard since these incidents occurred. Mavrikidis has said he will not go along with a request by police to close the restaurant at 1:30 a.m. and that he wants to remain open until 2:30 a.m.
The Nuisance Abatement Hearing was held at Syracuse City Hall on Tuesday afternoon. Police officers and a lawyer for Mavrikidis were present and testified. Officers said many SU students were afraid to walk down the east end of Marshall Street at night because there had been so many problems at Acropolis. Police also said that many of the problems at Acropolis involved known gang members. The lawyer for Acropolis Pizza, Tom Cerio, testified about the upgrades the business made including the video surveillance system, late night security guards, and additional staff training.
"Everyone wants the university area to be safe including my client, including Acropolis Pizza. Because without the area being safe, people are not going to frequent his establishment and he's not going to do as well. He's been there for 32 years and he's done very well," said Cerio after the hearing.
If the city feels Mavrikidis has not done enough to prevent future problems, the restaurant could be closed for a year.
The city will not make a decision on Tuesday. The nuisance abatement officer for city will review Tuesday's transcript with Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler and Fowler will make the final decision.