Restaurant closing early in response to “chaotic” events downtown

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Outside is back open and instead of enjoying extended hours again, Shawn Danko has decided to end business at 10 p.m.

“It’s been so chaotic downtown that we’ve been actually closing early,” Danko said.

Danko owns the Kooky Canuck which usually closes at 3 a.m. He said closing early is a response to the downtown chaos in recent weeks.

An attempt was made to improve this last weekend with a $5 entry fee for Beale Street.

RELATED: $5 Beale Street security fee in effect for Memorial Day weekend, officials say

But did anything change?

“We looked at the crowds and the condition of downtown in terms of volume and the craziness and the chaos. It was pretty much the same,” Danko said.

FOX13 reached out to the Downtown Memphis Commission to see if the fee worked.

We were told the numbers across all the weeks when the fee has been used show it helped with safety.

Danko said safety is a major concern for downtown businesses.

“People tailgating,” he said. “Tailgating I guess is the best way to put it, on the street. They’ve stopped cars. Traffic is at a dead halt. People are walking around cars, on cars on occasion. So yeah, it’s chaos.”

Something Danko hopes this improves quick as the crowds continue to grow.

“We hope that there’s some normalcy that comes back,” Danko said. “That control comes back to the downtown core and we’re able to stay open a little bit later without worrying about people’s safety.”