Popular nightlife spots prevent tragedy with new safety precautions

Joshua Farmer

Boone’s popular nightlife hotspots Legends, Paolucci’s Italian Bar and Grill and Char Restaurant and Bar have safety precautions in place in to prevent a tragedy, just like the nightclub fire Sunday in Brazil.

Within minutes, 230 people died in a fire at Kiss Nightclub in Santa Maria, Brazil. Officials have linked the tragedy to a lack of emergency exits and the irresponsible use of pyrotechnics, according to the Associated Press.

Program Adviser to APPS Randy Kelly said that Appalachian State University’s own nightclub and social center does not allow pyrotechnics. The candles used at Legends are LED lights, and the fog machine is water-based.

Kelly said that Legends features “three more fire exits than most” and all exits are “directly off the main room.”

Legends also has fire drills and an emergency evacuation plan that is in accordance with ASU Police, Kelly said.

Owner of Paolucci’s Italian Bar and Grill Carl Paolucci said the late night hotspot has “all the basic fire exit need to get people out of here in case there is a problem.”

Paolucci said he tries to keep people orderly “in some sort of fashion” but “unfortunately kids don’t listen.”

The smoke alarm went off at the restaurant last Saturday because of equipment the DJ used to make smoke effects, but patrons didn’t move until the fire department came.

There was no serious threat, Paolucci said.

Paolucci also does not allow pyrotechnics and uses water-based smoke effects, he said.

General manager of Char Restaurant and Bar Colton Lenz said the doors of the building, front and back, could accommodate 350 people but in conjunction with the fire department, the maximum capacity has been set at 275.

“We are nowhere near being overcrowded ever,” Lenz said. “If, God forbid, something were to happen, if a fire were to start, Char could be empty in literally moments.”

Lenz said the restaurant does not allow pyrotechnics either.

Story: Stephanie Sansoucy, Senior News Reporter