Closing Time – You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

Two Boston city councilors want Boston hotel bars to stay open until 4 am according to this boston globe story. Opponents say that Boston’s a town of neighborhoods, and, if some establishments are open until 4 am, it will be disruptive – these people have a right to peace and quiet.

IMG_0540 The idea to keep some establishments open longer has come up multiple times, but its always shot down. According to the article, “Councilor Jerry P. McDermott of Allston-Brighton vehemently opposed the idea of extending bar hours. ”If people want to go to a place where the bars are open until 4 a.m., then Boston’s not the city for them,” McDermott said.”

After hours parties, however, are becoming something of a problem for Boston. There are entrepeneurs who hand out leaflets and have big after-hours parties in places like Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan – however some of these parties are now moving into other Boston areas, like Hyde Park. Occasionally, there’s some violence after these after-hours parties – not a big shock.

As a native New Yorker (and former bartender), who now proudly calls himself a Bostonian, the early ‘closing time’ has always interested me. Granted, this is a puritanical state when it comes to alcohol – remember when we couldn’t buy booze on Sundays? That wasn’t so long ago. It was always a pain in the neck to have people over to watch Football on Sundays, you had to plan in advance and get the beer on Saturday. If you ran out — tough luck.

When I visit my brother in NYC, the nights out don’t generally start until 10 or 11 pm – but here, in Boston, parties might start right after work, or at 8 pm after a quick dinner. I like Boston’s 1 am closing time, personally. Its pretty easy to get to work if you’ve only been up until 2. Much tougher if you’re up until 5.

I’m not sure how I feel about hotel bars being allowed to stay open until 4, and I’m confident this will be shot down in the City Council. What do you think? Should Boston have some late night establishments for a few cocktails after 2 am? Are the early closing times of Boston drinking establishments a bane or a boon to our fair, puritanical city?

I wonder how the purveyors of booze will weigh in on this. Is it better for bars to close earlier, thereby having fewer belligerent drunks? Or is it better to stay open longer, so the bars make more dough? Another big problem, of course, is public transportation. If I had to get home at 4 am, its cab city, no other option other than a designated driver. As the ‘T’ is less than adequate in its coverage of the greater Boston area, one can easily understand why bars open until 4 would be a big problem for many of the outer Boston ‘burbs’.

That’s just my $0.02 – what do you think?

2 Comments so far

  1. Krissy (unregistered) on May 5th, 2005 @ 9:53 am

    Good point about the T not running late. I lived in the San Francisco area for a few years and that was a problem there too…people who live further from the city wind up driving drunk because they don’t have the option of public transportation. And taxis take advantage of this.

    A few years ago I might have wished that the bars were open later, but now I don’t think I’d take advantage of them being open that late. But I’m certain many people will…

    I have to say, though, that if the bars are open later, we need some more diners!!!


  2. dave (unregistered) on May 29th, 2005 @ 5:31 am

    I think it would be agood idea is some places, maybe such as hotel bars were open to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights. The T also needs to provide better night coverage. Theres been more than one occasion I’ve had to walk 2 hours because I missed last train and it’s only 1:30? The night owl’s a start but didn’t I read thy’re getting rid of that?



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