California Bars Might Be Able to Stay Open Past 2 A.M.

A new bill may mean that closing time just got a bit later

Californians have even more of a reason to party on (as if great weather and the ocean nearby weren't enough): a new bill introduced by a state senator could mean that bars finally will get that late closing time California residents have been dreaming of. 

State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) introduced on Wednesday SB 635, which would change the legal closing time of bars past 2 a.m. and allow bartenders to serve until 4 a.m. As of now, the current law cuts off bartenders from serving alcohol at 2 a.m. Leno says that the bill could introduce more revenue to the nightlife scene. Said Leno in a statement: "Many cities in California have dynamic social activities that are vital to their economies, but they lack the flexibility to expand their businesses... This legislation would allow destination cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego to start local conversations about the possibility of expanding nightlife and the benefits it could provide the community by boosting jobs, tourism, and local tax revenue."

Many groups, like the California Restaurant Association, and the California Music and Culture Association are in support of the new bill, but other groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), are opposed. Said MADD in a statement, "MADD advocates setting uniform statewide cut-off limits on the sale of alcoholic beverages in order to end the practice of ‘barhopping’ to find establishments with later closing hours for ‘one last drink’ with the likelihood of impaired driving as a result." And of course, if the bill passes, the real debate of nightlife scenes in Los Angeles versus Chicago versus New York will continue to wage on. 

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