SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Extending last call at the bar is getting another shot in California, but this time it’s only in a few cities across the state will get the tryout.
“Of course, it’s going be a cool thing,” said Aaron Dotson. “You get to stay out longer and do cool stuff.”
Bar hoppers and party-goers alike are all used to hearing the same thing: “Get out by 2 a.m.” Imagine if last call for alcohol were moved from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Senate Bill 905, written by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was introduced this week, and it puts the issue back in front of lawmakers.
Wiener proposed a similar bill last year that had support but didn’t pass. The new bill has some key changes. First off, it’s a five-year pilot program for just six cities to test out: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Long Beach, West Hollywood, and Sacramento. And secondly, the legislation puts the cities in control.
“Cities can decide for themselves whether to stay at 1 a.m. or to go to 3 a.m., or go to 4 a.m.,” Wiener said at a press conference.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is on board, saying in part, “We need more tools to draw visitors and conventions, as well as to support music and nightlife in our city.”
But bartender Jeffrey Ogden says more hours with an open bar means more drunk people on his hands.
“It might be a little crazy,” he told CBS13. “People need time to reset.”
And Stefan Griffiths isn’t sold on the idea either.
“A lot of weird things happen after 2 a.m.,” the 28-year-old said. “Nothing good really happens after 2 a.m. honestly!”
But Councilmember Steve Hansen says the 4 a.m. extension won’t be at every bar and restaurant, just a select few. And if things get too rowdy, city leaders have the power to turn that clock back to 2.
“Then I say go for it, you know?” Dotson said.
After five years, the bill will be re-evaluated, and the legislature will have the chance to review it. At that point, lawmakers can decide to offer other cities the chance to test it out too.