Bars to be able to Stay Open/Serve Alchohol Later?

Photo by PoPville flickr user pjcoleman

The Washington Post’s Mike Debonis tweeted about the Mayor’s proposed budget:

“New revenue initiatives include ‘expanded sales hours for alcoholic beverages’ ($5.3M) — told sales will be allowed till 4 a.m.”

and a little more detail:

“Gray budget proposal on bars: Weekday close at 3 a.m.; weekend close at 4 a.m. Allow liquor stores to open 7 a.m.”

Good idea for raising revenues?

63 Comment

  • Oh, now he suggests this, now that my after hours days are through. Seriously, I’d end the liquor sales at midnight but allow them on Sundays. That would have the same budget effect with less potential trouble.

  • Doesn’t matter about the revenues, it is good for the city and its vibrancy. Hopefully once we’re out of the budget crunch, we can pay for Metro to be open til 1 am on weekdays and 4 am on weekends. This will have very little impact on neighborhoods and will actually help alleviate the amount of people pouring onto the streets at 2:45 (most people will certainly not stay til 4, like old fogies like me who will be gone by 1)

    • How about actually doing something concrete to improve the schools and cut down on crime before the city starts paying for Metro to stay open later?

      I couldn’t care less about bars staying open later, but I do care about the planned on both income and property taxes. If I’m going to be paying more in taxes and not seeing any real improvements in crime or schools, that’s just one more reason for me to move to MoCo. I’m sick of hearing about violent crime near my home and sick of worrying, years in advance, about where I’m going to send my kid(s) to school. FWIW, we were completely shut out of DCPS OOB and charter lotteries for PS3 and are expecting the same next year and the year after; those are not the answer to this city’s schools problem.

      • Echo your sentiment on improving on crime and schools.
        I love living in the city and improving schools and beefing up cops makes me feel ok abt higher taxes. But u have to deliver.

      • His budget increases school funding by $86 million, according to the Post. Also according to the post, it does not include any taxes, although it does reduce planned tax reductions. But the revenue for education funding increases has to come from somewhere.

        I also noticed the following: “Gray is also proposing pilot enforcement programs targeting pedestrians and drivers who “block the box.”” Yay! You’re going down box-blockers!

        Don’t despair on the charter lotteries. We were also shut out our first year. The process is insane and stressful. But, more charters are coming online as demand skyrockets, and you just need to keep trying.

    • There must have been lobbying/petitioning/bribing from the bar/restaurant owners to have the city allow them to stay open later and for the proposal for Mayor Gray’s consideration.

      I’m all for the Sunday moratorium to be finally lifted; perhaps a leftover from prohibition days, something that cycles in/out of fashion.

      This being said, and not trying to be snarky, but how do the later hours add to a city’s vibrancy? The people stumbling out of the bars aren’t exactly my definition of “vibrant” by that point in the night/early morning. All it seems to do is add to the bottom revenue line for bar owners and also for the city.

      I think someone noted that the city (not necessarily its citizens) are in a budget surplus. I’m inclined to believe this if for no other reason that the city ticketed vehicles last year by more than 100,000 tickets than their yearly allotment/target goal.

    • I don’t care if they keep the bars open later, but you’ll be waiting a lIng time for Metro to expand service. I don’t see how staying open till 4 a.m. makes the city more “vibrant” (one of the most overused and misapplied words on this blog), but if people want it, I’d support it. But don’t pretend it will alleviate any problems or that Metro will follow suit.

    • ah

      I support longer hours in the interest of liberty, but I don’t see how it necessarily makes the city more “vibrant”, unless you’re talking about the larger number of technicolor yawns it will induce.

  • Yes!

    What I really want is to be able to buy beer and burbon at my neighborhood liquor store…AFTER 10pm.

    • Actually, they can. As of last year, liquor stores can be open til midnight if they so choose. Some don’t bother though because they’re in the 10 pm routine. Most won’t bother to open at 7 am, either, unless it’s St Pattys or something.

  • I like the idea of liquor stores being open later, and on Sundays… but open at 7 a.m.?? Who would that serve, other than people with serious alcohol problems?

    (If you’ve ever been outside a liquor store before it opens in the morning and seen the guys hanging around outside waiting, it’s a pretty depressing sight.)

    • Well, in my much younger days, I did on more than one occasion party all night and hit the liquor store when it opened first thing in the morning. Not saying this was a good thing.

  • How about liquor stores being able to be open on Sunday?

  • Don’t really care one way or the other. Why not allow liquor stores to be open on Sunday?

  • Good idea for becoming something closer to a real city.

    • FYI- in most cities in the US. bars are only open til 2 am. Or 1 am if you’re Boston.

      • There is a flawed assumption underlying your comment.

        • The sad thing about this that the city doesn’t understand that positive cultural side effects only the potential for more MONEY.

        • Just to enlighten you…
          Only US cities with equal or later than 3…
          Miami (5 am)
          Albany, NYC, Louisville, Buffalo (4 am)
          Vast majority are 2 am, or worse.

          And I am FOR lengthening the hours, but it is crazy how puritanical the US is. And if you take a look at Europe, they’re bad too. And even Canada is almost all 2 am (even Toronto).

          “In Rome, an ordinance was passed in January 2009 to make 2 a.m. the last call in Campo de’ Fiori and the neighborhoods of Trastevere and Testaccio. The new last call time for these areas was initiated to curtail nighttime commotion in these popular parts of Rome.”

          • This isn’t totally true. Chicago’s normal hours are 2 am, but a select number of bars get a special permit (or whatever) and stay open until 4 am, and then a very limited few get a 6am permit (or whatever). When I lived there we knew exactly what bars to hit at 2 and 4 once the others had closed. We generally didn’t go out until later, though, sometimes not until midnight.

          • You forgot New Orleans. I never even heard of “Last Call” until I moved from NOLA.

          • There’s also New Orleans. Not only is there a 24/7 bar that I used to frequent (the exception), but many bars stay open until the crow thins, generally well past 2 AM , sometimes until dawn. I don’t expect that from other places, but it was definitely a shocker to move here (what I considered a “big city”) and have the lights tirned on at 1:45 AM, if not before.

          • I thought the flawed assumption was equating “Boston” with “real city”

          • brookland_rez

            I lived in Louisville for about 8 months. The 4am allowed the bar district to be running like almost all night. Their nightlife was really vibrant, any night of the week.

    • DC may not be a “real city” but if we compare ourselves to London – we may be very happy for the work of those revolutionaries in 1776. The tube runs the last train shortly after 12am most nights and up until recently pubs had to stop selling booze at 11pm. The booze law has changed but its still nothing like staying open till 4am.
      Also – London was/is plenty vibrant with those restrictions.

      • Yeah, but London also has an extensive network of 24-hour buses and night buses. (Not to mention more comprehensive public transportation than D.C. has.)

      • Believe me, they learned how to adapt to the early closing hours of bars: Londoners drink fast and hard…then they fall asleep, but not without making a pit-stop in one of their classic red phone booths.

      • By the way, London is a real city. No, I’m not an anglophile.

        • DC is a real city.

          • I’m not arguing that DC is or is not – that argument will be in the eye of the beholder. andy2 stated that “…DC may not be a real city but if we compare ourselves to London…” but by most yardsticks, London is an international city that is often listed or thought of when thinking: finance, fashion, international, celebrity gawking, making strides in the food scene – and often keeps company with NYC, Paris, Milan/Rome, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. You get the idea.

          • It’s not a city, it’s a giant town with a massive suburb problem. Not being a city is the best thing about it.

          • not in the 21st century sense of a city.

      • As a result of their early hours they had a horrable binge drinking problem, which is why bars can choose their hours now. They saw the light.

  • I can’t wait to read the arguments about the $31M increase in traffic enforcement revenues they’re budgeting for. There’s going to be a camera on every block at this rate.

    Oh, and I’m amenable to later alcohol hours and Sunday sales, too.

  • Hmmmm… just a few years ago, DC decided to lessen the hours of alchohol sales to 10am – 10pm.

    Last year, they realized they went too far and allowed sales until midnight.

    Now, Gray wants to expand bar hours to 4am? No thanks.
    Liquor stores open at 7 am? No thanks.

    Liquor stores open on Sundays: totally fine.

  • oh man, this sucks. now I gotta wait till 4am to take random girls home from the bar 🙁

  • I completely approve of later bar hours – – we are finally becoming more like NYC in our nightlife. Alas, alas, few bars will have the late hours because the ANCs will try to stop them.

  • #Cocaine

  • This is ridiculous… They just passed the noise ordinance that says a police officer can arrest you if you’re making noise outside after 10pm and they extend the bar hours too thus increasing the amount of noise that will be heard late at night. Plus guarantee muggings go up with people stumbling out of bars at 4 am now.

    • furthermore, how much does MPD’s budget go up to account for the inevitable increased police presence that will have to come as a result

  • Um, yes, please?

  • Is this official? Are bar hours changing to 3am and 4am?

    • Proposed budget, not yet passed.

      I really hope someone asks the Mayor and Council why 4am bar hours are necessary and why liquor sales on Sunday are not included in his proposal.

  • Isn’t Sunday sales old blue law? Also as someone with odd hours i would be thrilled with 3 and 4am..Not sure how it would affect things at least during the week..I mean most people doing the 9-5 aren’t bar hoping @ 3am on a Tuesday..

  • I’m neither a drinker nor a late-nighter — but I have to ask, what’s the justification for imposing any closing hour? Why not let the market, and the public, and the bar owners, decide? I don’t see how the public at large is affected by whether the bars close at 3, or 4, or not at all.

    Eliminating any mandated closing time would stop the closing-time chaos that erupts in Adams Morgan when all the bars close at once.

  • Dear Mr. Gray, Can we please please please buy beer at local stores after 10pm. The 10pm law has got to go! Move it to midnight please. Thanks!

  • brookland_rez

    Bring it. 2am on the weekend is silly.

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