Allegations about owners of downtown bars causes closure and police investigation

Written by Ariel Hochman

The downtown Binghamton restaurant/bar, The Colonial, closed due to claims of illegal activity on December 9. They made an announcement that they are reopening normally on December 10. The owner also owns Dos Rios Cantina and The Stone Fox. 

The claims being made involve non-consensual drug-use and sexual assault. It is alleged that the owners of these well-known establishments have been targeting women. 

There was a Facebook announcement on The Colonial’s page stating their concern about the rumors, and clarifying that nobody was arrested, around 2pm, yesterday. The post also said “The individuals in question have been placed on leave…” This post was taken down by the next day.

A separate Facebook post was made from The Colonial around 11am today, explaining that the restaurant will be open again for normal business hours. It says they will make no comment on the “baseless” claims made against them. By 6pm, this post about reopening was taken down.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Binghamton detectives at 607-772-7080. Binghamton police said “its very important for the public to know that, as any serious criminal allegation, the Binghamton Police Department is taking this matter seriously and investigating all allegations to its fullest extent.”

The Binghamton Police Department is investigating the allegations involving the owners of The Colonial. Broome County District Attorney, Michael A. Korchak, posted a video on Facebook acknowledging the community’s concerns. Korchak says in the video, “By law, we cannot prosecute based solely upon anonymous information posted on social media”. He also urges people to speak up with information regarding these incidents, and to reach out to Broome County’s District Attorney’s office or the local police department.

There is a peaceful protest flyer circling social media for Saturday, at 8:15pm. 

There were signs plastered on the outside of The Colonial with sayings such as “Rape Management” and “Protect Whistleblowers” on the morning of December 10.

A private Facebook group was made originally called “Boycotting Colonial, Dos Rios, Stone Fox, etc”, re-named “Binghamton Believes Survivors of Sexual Assault”. The Facebook group is being used to voice experiences, show support, and discuss the situation.

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