Schenectady’s bar says they were unfairly closed after filming

A Schenectady bar is forced to close after a recent shooting.

Two people were shot inside the Sawmill Tavern on South Avenue earlier this month. Now the state has suspended the bar’s liquor license.

However, there is another side to this bar and the people who come here, and it might surprise you. A manager and bartender at Sawmill Tavern told NewsChannel 13 that they have done so much for the community over the years and they don’t want this incident to define them.

The late Don Birch ran the famous biker bar for decades. Its walls tell the story of his contributions to Schenectady.

They said they provided free meals to the homeless and held an annual charity event. All of this has been supported by the biker community, who have socialized here for decades.

Manager Ellie Smith has promised to carry on Birch’s legacy until her son is old enough to take over. She says bikers don’t socialize there anymore and there’s a new crowd. Now she is only a few months away from retirement and wonders if she will ever be able to reopen.

Hear her talk more about why she says itIt’s so important to keep the doors open watching Stella Porter’s videothe story.