In the wake of some recent disturbances at a few bars along Bardstown Road, Metro Councilman Tom Owen says he’d consider amending the city’s liquor ordinance to change closing time for bars from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. But I think such a move would be ill-advised.
As someone who rarely drinks and has to be in the office by 7:30 most mornings, I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I think there are benefits to our later closing time that Mr. Owen is overlooking.
First, there’s no question that Louisville’s 4am last call makes our city a favorite among many groups selecting convention locations. It’s one of the advantages Louisville has over competing cities, and since our economy is so convention-based, we shouldn’t dismiss this lightly.
But there are other factors at work, too. Can the thousands of service workers currently employed in Louisville bars afford to lose up to 14 hours of wages and tips every week? And – given that we really have become a 24-hour society – is 4 a.m. really too late to be drinking in bars if you’re a second shift worker who just got off at 11?
Granted, the recent disturbances are troublesome. But I’d hate to save the system by doing it mortal harm. I say leave the vast majority of responsible businesses alone and concentrate instead on weeding out the bad actors who are the real source of the problem.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.