Unless you live in a state like Alaska, where bars are allowed to be open from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m., or a city like Vegas, where you can party all night, many places in the U.S. have relatively conservative times when a bar must close for the night. For California, along with many other states across the country, there’s a 2 a.m. “last call”. But, if State Sen. Mark Leno’s proposal goes through, bars will be allowed to remain open until 4 a.m.
State Sen. Mark Leno’s proposal to let the liquor flow until 4 a.m. as a way to draw more tourists — and with them more revenue and jobs — is already spawning a sharp debate from Sacramento to watering holes in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Leno said the measure would make the state more competitive with other hotspots like New York, Las Vegas and Miami that serve alcohol later into the wee hours of the morning or 24 hours a day.
The many bars, clubs, and restaurants in California serving alcohol, as well as groups such as the California Restaurant Association, the Hollywood Hospitality Coalition and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, are all behind the proposed bill. The overall belief is that it will not only draw in tourists, but the extended hours will be more accommodating for the younger generation of tech workers, who typically work later hours.
Of course, there are people opposed to the idea. Residents in neighborhoods, like The Mission District in San Francisco, fear that the longer bars hours will disturb the area. Others believe that this bill will generate more drunk driving, public intoxication, and violence.
For the population of drinkers in California, this seems like a win-win. Don’t many of us wish that the bars in our neck of the woods were open a little later? But, will it increase tourism?
Ludwig Chincarini, an associate economics professor at the University of San Francisco, doesn’t “think people are going to be traveling to San Francisco and Los Angeles to get the … Las Vegas experience in terms of extensive drinking and partying.”
If you’re a California resident, how do you feel about Leno’s bill. And, if you don’t live in the Golden State, would a 4 a.m. last call entice you into heading out west?