Should Seattle change or stagger closing times?

Posted on February 26th, 2010 by master


Publicola published an interesting story yesterday that raised the question of whether or not Seattle should extend the current closing time from 2 to 4 a.m. across the board, or stagger times throughout the city in an attempt to improve public safety. From Publicola,

The theory is that by encouraging staggered closing times, the thousands of customers who roll out onto the street at  am would be dispersed over the night. This would take pressure off of SPD, allowing them to do better, more focused enforcement. It would also help curb drunk driving (at 2 am there is little taxi cab availability due to the spiked demand for cabs with everyone settling up at the same time.) There would also be less concentration of noise on the streets at 2am solving one of the most frequent complaints from downtown residents. And of course with an increase in operating hours comes an increase in revenue (and jobs) for bars, and in turn, more revenue to the State and City.

Many cities across the country have started extending liquor service to 3 and 4 a.m., while a few have tried 24-hour service, including Birmingham, Alabama, Atlantic City, Memphis and the entire states of Nevada and Louisiana. Read Publicola’s full story here.

Since both Lower and Upper Queen Anne have a large bar and lounge presence, there’s no doubt the hill would be greatly affected by any change to the city’s current closing time. So, Queen Anne, what do you think? Should Seattle keep closing time at 2 a.m., extend it, or stagger it? Do you think this would improve safety in the neighborhood?


36 responses to “Should Seattle change or stagger closing times?”

  1. Jordan says:

    I think that extending closing times is a good idea. The basic argument for this sort of plan is that by closing all bars in the city at 2AM forces a surge of people into the streets. I feel that this is true (try driving through belltown or capitol hill at 1:45). It would probably also be a good little economy boost to have longer business hours for bars which would lead to longer business hours for some food establisments catering to the bar croud

  2. Jordan says:

    I think that extending closing times is a good idea. The basic argument for this sort of plan is that by closing all bars in the city at 2AM forces a surge of people into the streets. I feel that this is true (try driving through belltown or capitol hill at 1:45). It would probably also be a good little economy boost to have longer business hours for bars which would lead to longer business hours for some food establisments catering to the bar croud

  3. Justin says:

    Seattle should extend the closing time for bars/restaurants to 4am. I've been out in places where that is the closing time (NYC/Oahu) and it was always a much more enjoyable night. Many of the people who were out would start to disperse around 2am regardless of the extended closing time. The rush to leave didn't exist like it does in Seattle.

    Consider that the average twenty-something bar hopper doesn't go out until 10pm, this gives them 3 hours at the establishment before the 1:15am last call (many of the larger bars/clubs start last call early because it takes so long to close out tabs and get crowds to disperse). It seems like extending the service time might actually help curb rapid consumption and allow for people to feel less rushed. Businesses and the city would make more money and people wouldn't feel the 2am rush to find a cab.

    All around it just makes more sense to extend the closing time to 4am.

    Go Seattle!

  4. Justin says:

    Seattle should extend the closing time for bars/restaurants to 4am. I've been out in places where that is the closing time (NYC/Oahu) and it was always a much more enjoyable night. Many of the people who were out would start to disperse around 2am regardless of the extended closing time. The rush to leave didn't exist like it does in Seattle.

    Consider that the average twenty-something bar hopper doesn't go out until 10pm, this gives them 3 hours at the establishment before the 1:15am last call (many of the larger bars/clubs start last call early because it takes so long to close out tabs and get crowds to disperse). It seems like extending the service time might actually help curb rapid consumption and allow for people to feel less rushed. Businesses and the city would make more money and people wouldn't feel the 2am rush to find a cab.

    All around it just makes more sense to extend the closing time to 4am.

    Go Seattle!

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