Friday Question of the Day – Reader Request

The Inaugural Ball, originally uploaded by Waldo Jaquith.

A reader asks:

“I’m curious what people think about changing the “last call” time to 5am on the weekend of the inauguration.”

Here is the link to the NBC article:

NBC says:

“Graham, who represents the bar-centric Adams Morgan neighborhood, introduced a measure to allow licensed bars, restaurants and nightclubs to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. and to keep doors open 24 hours a day between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21, according to the Washington Examiner. Tuesday evening, the Council passed the measure.”

So what do you guys think – is it ridiculous that the council extended last call for bars until 5am? Or does it not really matter because it’s only for 5 days?

32 Comment

  • Whoa, why are those the only two options? I’d like to vote “Yes, because it’s complete awesomeness!”

  • why have a last call rule at all. let people decide how to live their own lives.
    friggin puritan nation

  • This could be a huge weekend for bar owners, and the people who feed bar patrons (Jumbo Slice at 5:30am anyone?). But it could be an even bigger weekend for muggers. Watch you back, people.

    Does this move the Walk of Shame back a few hours, too?

  • Yeah, I think the poll is missing what could be the most popular answer: “Why not 5am all the time?”

  • I think there should be no last call time at all. If bars are legally responsible for serving a drunk customer, then they should exercise caution at all times.

    MPD’s response that they won’t have the staff is totally ridiculous. This city has thousands of cops, plus more on the way from other cities. The number of cops won’t be an issue.

    Odentex loves to point out how NYC has little crime for a big city. Its bars stay open much later than DC’s without the resulting crime.

  • Yeah, my answer is also – Why not all the time.

  • Although this will probably be detrimental to my health and my paycheck I am completely in favor of this measure. Echoing some of the comments before, there is only so much the state can do to restrict the personal freedoms of an individual through law… if someone wants to get drunk at 4:17 am they will find a way to do it.

  • Interesting that the subject of alcohol brings out such political fervor… Fear of personal freedoms being restricted and such…. I spoke to a friend who resides in one of the areas likely to be affected by this liquid display of the Founding Fathers’ desires, (Adams Morgan)-and she is leaving town for the week…Can’t say I blame her. This will be one long Saturday night…

  • I think sure, with this many people coming to the city that some people will get out of control. But lets be honest, they would do the same thing if last call was at 3:00. I think it is a great opportunity for local bars and restaurants to make some good money. Might as well take advantage of all the hungry and thirsty people! I’m all for it! I’ll stimulate the economy…pour me another drink!

  • Gotcha, Doug… I still think its funny that political fervor seems to have John Barleycorn
    to thank… What a country.

  • Considering that the founders often bribed voters with barrels of port and brandy, I think we’re right on track. Too bad we already voted. And aren’t getting anything for free.

    In all seriousness though, I don’t foresee any serious problems.

  • re: having them serve until 5am all the time- bars in DC are interspersed with the neighborhoods. people have to sleep some time.

  • It’s nice to hear some sanity on this. People on my MPD listserv (which includes H St, Penn Ave SE and 8th St SE) are absolutely up in arms about this, ostensibly in the name of public safety. I was surprised to see how upset people were, especially considering none of those commercial areas (with the possible exception of Hawk & Dove and its neighbors) are likely to be tourist destinations.

  • RD,
    I do not think the law applies to nightclubs. I think it only applies to bars. Do bars cause a lot of noise for the residents? I do not live near a bar so I have no idea?

  • nate, I believe that in the end nightclubs are also allowed to stay open, which is what ultimately caused Graham to vote against his own measure.

  • I thought nightclubs could buy a waiver or exemption of some sort. Are nightclubs really that bad of a neighbor? I hear people complain about Busboys too. But I never seem to hear any noice coming out of that place. I don’t have the luxury of living near a restaurant, club or bar, so I am genuinely curious about this.

  • The way I look at it, this town is going to be an absolute sh*tshow those days, anyway. Why not bring in some extra tax revenue and help out the barkeeps? We’re already going to be dealing with the massive inconveniences (and excitement, debauchery, etc.) of it all.

  • Nate: We can do an experiment. I will set up a boombox in your neighbor’s basement with my Best of George Jones CD turned up to 11. 🙂

    Oh, and joy to the world, we agree that “last call” is a dumb rule. If you are going to let businesses sell liquor then restricting it during certain times is dumb. A stupid hold-over from when churches dictated public rules.

  • The liquor rules are a lot like the old “blue laws” that restricted all kinds of retail sales in much of the south on Sundays.

    If God truly loves me, why doesn’t he want me to get my Walmart on?

  • Thanks, Nichole. I feel a little less lonely.

  • seems like the coucil members moved pretty fast on this…how can we get them off their asses with equal quickness when something not as important, like, oh i dunno, crime and punishment, comes across their desks?

  • Odentex,
    I’m sure that would drive me crazy. But aren’t restaurants/bars required to have more sound proofing than someone’s home?
    As for the churches, I have always thought they were more interested in restricting your options so that they could collect all the money on Sundays. Otherwise why bother restricting store opening hours and alcohol sales on Sunday? Same goes for their resistance against the median on NH Ave.

  • @Doug… really? Really. Leaving town because… Adams Morgan will be filled with drunks?

    I guess they missed the memo, but Adams Morgan s always filled with drunks. If your friend had a problem with street partying at 3 AM, which happens just about every night there regardless of last call, why on earth did they choose to live in Adams Morgan?

  • Jamie, just want to clarify, Reuben said his friends were leaving town…not me. I plan on being one of those people his friend is scared of…

  • Opps, didn’t see your correction.

  • “Land of the Free,” my ass.

    In the 21st century, when everything is 24/7, why are we even still talking about having a “closing time” for bars?

    The “last-call” laws were intended to ensure that laborers went home in time for work (or church) the next day. Such nanny-state laws have no place in modern society. I don’t need the city council to decide my bedtime, thanks.

  • I think that bars should be open late if only because there are going to be tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of people who won’t be able to get home on the metro and will have to wait until morning to get out of the city.

    I’m anticipating that transportation in the city will grind to a complete halt and loads of people will be stuck here overnight, and they’ll need some place to go. What happens when 2am Wednesday morning rolls around and there are still people waiting to get onto trains? At least now they can head to the bars and booze it up.

  • My favorite is that on Monday, the Metro stops at midnight and picks back up the next morning at 4am. To wit, I imagine many a reveler staying out later than they normally would just to get the Metro on the other side.

    What a great way to thin out the crowd for inauguration: get everybody loaded the night before so they’re in no shape to stand around outside all day. Or get up early enough to get downtown in time.

  • Jamie-It was my friend who planned to leave.. OH-one more thing… Haven’t more than a few regular visitors to this site heard some variation on your “if they didn’t want to deal with drunks, why did they move to Adams Morgan” comment? For example-I recall a Petworth resident being told something similar concerning crime (as opposed to drinking) by a police officer. JUst wanted to point that out

  • I like that city council has worked quickly to recognize the tough financial times and tried to make it as easy as possible for everyone (go ahead! rent out your home!) — particularly the service industry — to make some extra money off the inauguration. January is usually a pretty tight month for restaurants and bars, but this could help them make up for a less than stellar holiday season.

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