California State Senate passes bill to extend bar hours

Extended Bar Hours

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - In California, last call happens at 2 a.m.

That could change after Senate Bill 384, also known as the "Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night" act, passed through the State Senate Wednesday. 

In its current form the bill would give cities and municipalities the option of allowing bars and restaurants to stay open, and keep the alcohol flowing, until four in the morning. 

Could it work in cities along the Central Coast? 

"I think it could be really good for the economy (of San Luis Obispo)," said Chris Corkins, who lives in the city. "If you come down here on a weekend night, the bar scene really runs the downtown."

"I think it would work out well for the bars for sure," said Megan Stark. 

Stark and Mandy Gellar both live in San Luis Obispo and say they enjoyed being able to drink until later in the evening while they were abroad in Europe. 

"It changes the nightlife because when bars are open that late people didn't go out until midnight," said Gellar. 

Senator Scott Wiener's bill to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. is the first to ever pass the senate.

"As long as everyone is doing what they are supposed to do and following the laws, there shouldn't be a problem," said Michael Gentry. "It's no problem as long as the cops are willing to be out and patrol."

He admits it will take some planning and study of how extending bar hours affects crime and noise. 

California will likely look to how cities like New York, Chicago and Miami Beach handle extended bar hours. 

That is, if the bill becomes law. 

The bill now heads to the state assembly. 

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