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St. Louis gay bar owners beef up security after Orlando attack

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Following the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, those who run bars and clubs catering to the gay community of St. Louis are doing a lot of soul searching, asking themselves if they have done everything they can to keep their customers safe.

Meanwhile, the mood among members of the community who frequent The Grove, a neighborhood which has become the heart of St. Louis` gay community, seems equal parts devastation and defiance.

'We shouldn`t just stop being alive because something happened,' said Caris Frisby. 'We need to stand up and say we are not going to take it anymore.'

But while tall talk can be comforting, reality is bracing, even for a community which has had to endure violence against individuals.

'Gay bashing with a gun is a little bit different,' said bar patron Gary Goldberg.

At Rehab Bar and Grill, the Orlando massacre is forcing its owners to rethink what they thought was already a good security plan, which includes searching bags at the door.

'As a business, taking from what happened in Orlando, we are going to have extra staff, we are going to bulk up because you can`t put a price or a value on what it will cost to keep everyone safe,' said Rehab co-owner Kyle Hanten.

'It opens my eyes up as far as watching things going on around, making sure someone doesn`t come in with a back pack or something out of the ordinary,' said bar patron Steven Heady.

'If someone wanted to come in here badly enough they are going to get in,' Hanten said. 'But that is no excuse for us not to take that extra step to do everything we can as a business to protect our family.'