Extended bar hours to be reconsidered

Tony Komada, Online Editor

The city ordinance that extends bar hours until 2 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays will reset back to normal hours on Aug. 1 if the City Council does not extend the trial run or make the ordinance permanent.

City Manager Scott Smith said the ordinance will probably be extended for another 60 to 90 days.

Smith said this should allow for newly appointed Mayor Brandon Combs, the city attorney, licensed liquor holders and council members to discuss long-term plans for the ordinance.

The council is likely to vote on the ordinance on July 21.

Council member Jeff Lahr said he would like to continue the ordinance if it has been helpful for the city, but he has not heard many positive or negative effects of the ordinance yet.

Chris Clayton, owner of Panther Paw Bar and Grill, said he would like to see the ordinance passed, but the trial period should have been longer and during Eastern’s fall and spring semesters.

Clayton said he had some good nights resulting from the extended hours, but he also had bad nights when he did not get many customers and had to pay the staff extra.

“If it’s approved, I guess we’ll find out if the ordinance was a good idea,” Clayton said.

Clayton said the city’s goal of the ordinance to have bar goers gradually leave the bar instead of immediately at 1 a.m. was successful.

“People have been petering out at 1:30 a.m,” Clayton said.

Mike Day, co-owner of Mike and Stan’s, said the ordinance had a minimal effect on his business.

“Sometimes we do stay open until 2 a.m.,” Day said.

Usually, however, Mike and Stan’s closes before 2 a.m.

“If (the ordinance)u helps out others, I’m all for it,” Day said.

Tony Komada can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].