A California lawmaker wants to let bars stay open two hours longer. The proposal from San Francisco Democratic Senator Scott Wiener would push back the closing time for bars from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
It’s a crowded night at the Albatross, a Berkeley bar a mile from campus, and Paul Mohan is playing darts. He’s just in from New York, where bars stay open well past two, which he thinks is good for business.
“These bars are closing up, but in New York we’re ready to spend more money," says Mohan. "This is when we spend stupid money without really thinking about it, having a good time. It’s a little tough, a little weird to get used to.”
Skeptics argue the change could mean more work for police, and lead to more drunks on the road. A similar bill failed to get enough votes in 2013. But Mohan figures if people can hang out longer, they’ll be less dangerous when they do finally leave.
“If the bars are closing at 2 o’clock, if it’s 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock and you’re going out, you’re crushing beers and crushing drinks trying to catch up and get it all in before the bar’s closing,” says Mohan.
That argument might not win over opponents like the California Alcohol Policy Alliance, which boasts a couple dozen groups campaigning against the proposal.