Concerned residents react to a Hamden pizza bar’s liquor permit disapproval

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HAMDEN - Repeated incidents have taken place outside of Slyce Pizza and Bar leading to the Liquor Control Commission and Department of Consumer Protection to take away its liquor license.

This comes after several residents filed a petition, objecting the license renewal.

One mother whose son was shot and killed outside of Slyce said she is very happy this decision was made.

"Proud, elated. Justice has been served," said New Haven resident Odell Montgomery Cooper.

Police said Odell's son, Jonathan, was at a traffic light when a car pulled up to him, and shot him. Odell said Jonathan had never been to Slyce, but was involved in a case of mistaken identity by someone who investigators said was in a fight at the pizza parlor.

"We just want to make sure that the neighborhoods are safe, that our children are safe who decide to go out and to have a drink, to have pizza, to enjoy themselves that they're safe in their neighborhoods and they're safe when they go out," added Odell.

Over 200 signatures were collected from Hamden residents on their liquor privilege. Their decision was supported by Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra, the Liquor Control Commission and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

The DCP issued a statement saying, "The Liquor Control Division at the Department of Consumer Protection conducted a thorough investigation and the Liquor Control Commission heard three days of public comment before deciding to deny the restaurant liquor permit for Slyce."

Chief Wydra said just three weeks ago, another shooting took place outside of Slyce after a gambling incident went wrong.

"We obviously have some bad people hanging out of Slyce and then engaging in violence outside of the doors either at closing time or when disputes have happened within the bar," said Chief Wydra.

Right around the corner is Southern Connecticut State University. Ian Shannon, a student at SCSU, said he feels safer knowing the renewal was not granted.

"In life, you might come across certain stuff and honestly, Southern Police did a great job at making us feel safe and sometimes if it's unlucky, stuff goes down in certain places, said Shannon.

While Slyce can no longer serve alcohol, their doors remain open for food.

The restaurant's owners said they are being unfairly blamed for the town's problems. They accuse Hamden officials of spinning the story against them instead of working to resolve poor environmental factors that contribute to the town's crime rates.