26 January 2010

Extend bar hours until 4 AM?

Adam Meister over at The Politics Meister has posted a blog post proposing that bars in "non-residential" areas be permitted to extend their hours until 4 A.M. in order to help boost the city's economy.

Never mind that this would, by definition, exclude the residential drinking neighborhoods of Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill, and just about any part of the city besides, say, Fort McHenry, Fairfield, or an area within a two-block radius of the Baltimore Convention Center and the two stadiums............

Good idea, or crazy?  I particularly want to hear from bar owners/managers--would you want to stay open until 4 AM?

My comments, which I left with the blog: 
. . . .[T]here are two problems. First, only a very few bars would likely bother with staying open until 4 AM. Second, you suggest that hours be extended only in non-residential areas. That would exclude Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill, Charles Village, Roland Park, and other “night life” hot spots. About the only area that might qualify is the immediate vicinity of the Baltimore Convention Center and Inner Harbor. This starts to remind me of the laws that decree that an adult-merchandise store can only be located within certain parameters in the county, and it turns out there’s exactly one or two locations in the county that legally qualify, both in industrial wastelands (as Howard County tried).
Aside from that, I believe you’ve vastly overestimated the demand for until-4-A.M. partying. It’s a concept that tends to fade away when real life, real jobs, etc. intervene, Mardi Gras ends, or the Ravens/Orioles championship victory party is over. The Libertarian in me would be happy to allow any place that can pay for the concept stay open as late as they want, but the middle-aged realist in me shakes his head leeringly at the concept.


Caederus said...

My day's of closing a bar a far gone. So I'll be the grumpy old man take the NIMBY approach.

My prediction is that you will see an old warehouse get a liquor license and suddenly it's one of the hottest dance clubs because they can stay open till 4AM.

BaltimoreMan said...

wont affect me at all. Doubt it would hurt any other bars in the residential areas

Richard said...

This is a terrible, terrible idea---I live 3 blocks from Fort McHenry near City Limits Sports Bar, and even with the 2 a.m. closing there is "exit noise" until 3 a.m.

With the non-indoor smoking laws smokers now congregate on the sidewalk getting louder and louder as the night goes on.

Mixed bar-residential zoning sucks, in my opinion---let's face it---people who drink etc. become less considerate at their blood alcohol level goes up.

There needs to be a "one full block" rule separating all bars from all residences going forward.

Sadly, we are stuck with things as they are. But believe it or not, there are working class and professional people who have to get up at 5 or 6 in the morning, and who can't sleep through everything.