California lawmaker proposes a 4 a.m. last call

March 15, 2013

wine33A California state senator has introduced a bill that would allow bars in certain cities to stay open until 4 a.m. [LA Times]

SB 635, introduced by San Francisco Democrat Mark Leno, would allow California cities to seek permission from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to allow restaurants, nightclubs and bars to sell drinks until 4 a.m. Current state law only permits restaurants, nightclubs and bars to sell alcohol between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m.

“Many cities in California have dynamic social activities that are vital to their economies, but they lack the flexibility to expand their businesses,” Leno said. “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.”

Despite the lively nightlife in California’s big cities, the state is home to none of the top 10 grossing late night venues in the country, Leno says. All of the top 10 venues are located in cities that allow bars and clubs to stay open later than 2 a.m.

Senate Republican leader Robert Huff expressed concerns about Leno’s proposal.

“What impact will this have on families who live around these establishment?” Huff asked. “Will changing the time impact drunk driving rates? These are the questions I would ask before coming to a decision.”

The California Restaurant Association and the San Francisco Council of District Merchants, as well as other industry groups, support the proposal to extend the hours of California’s nightlife.


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I always wondered about the 2AM rule, does it cause more problems having the hard-core drinkers all leave at once? Would it be better if the bars didn’t have to close and the just trickled out (no pun intended)?

Wow, two more hours for the drunks to destroy downtown SLO. More often than not the cops and fire department are downtown picking up the pieces from all of the drunks getting in fights and breaking windows. This is another bad idea from our dysfunctional legislature.

Additionally, Mark Leno is the king idiot of the government can solve every problem clan.

It doesn’t sound like SLO would be high on the list of cities that would get a 4:00 a.m. close time. LA, San Francisco, and San Diego would likely prove it to be a failure before it would ever make its way to small cities like SLO.

on point. i did see a newspaper article saying that San Diego rated high on the list of after hour clubs and the same for LA & SF.

when i lived in Chicago, NYC, Montreal and Mexico City i did do some of that BUT it was a walk/cab to the establisment, a cab to breakfast, and sleep all morning.

LA & SD are more of a driving market so that is what’s disconcerting

Yet somehow New York City survives with a 4am closing time. I wonder how they cope with such an impossible burden…

You should actually look at the fire department call out logs sometime. They get called out to retirement homes far more often than they get called out to downtown. If you want to ban drunks, maybe we should ban old people too, since they use even more of our public resources.

You have got to be kidding me, this is another in a long line of idiotic bills and measures put out by our legislators. Just how more money would a bar make by staying ope two more hours? How much money will LEO cost us to deal with the two more hours of alcohol that the barflies will consume than drive home/

Don’t these clowns have anything better to do, like balance the budget, cut taxes, streamline the process for businesses to make more money so they can waste it? Oh, I forgot they have a super majority and they will do any dman thing they please, and get paid to boot…

Just 2 more hours to fulfill my lifelong dream of a full 24 hour bar bender.

take money & put forward a bill.

i thought Dems were for the greater welfare of society and not for elitists who can afford to drink at bars and clubs. to what percentage of the population does this bill apply?

Only elitists can afford to drink at bars and clubs? You clearly have never been to Gaslight Lounge!

More overtime for LEO?

but they will still have DUI checkpoints at around 6p to 9p instead of 12a to 3a, wouldn’t those times make more sense?

A rather bizarre proposal considering all the issues our culture has with addiction, abuse, impaired driving, and violence.

This speaks volumes about our government.

It’s no more bizarre than wanting to legalize marijuana. The “make it legal and tax it” argument can apply to serving alcohol after 2am also!

Is Leno a DUI attorney?

o, those kinds of bars

“Stupid is as stupid does” …….. and this proposal by Leno is about as stupid as it gets.