Friday, March 07, 2014

Mayor Walsh Looking at Plan to Allow Boston Restaurants and Bars to Stay Open Until 3:30 AM

The new mayor of Boston is exploring the idea of extending the closing time of some of the restaurants and bars in the city.

CBS Local Boston is reporting that Marty Walsh told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 he is looking at a plan to allow "several" dining and drinking spots in "certain neighborhoods" to stay open as late as 3:30 AM, with alcohol being served until 2:30 AM. (Currently, most restaurants and bars can only stay open until 2:00 AM.) Walsh says that he wants to be "selective" about the proposed change in hours and will set up a task force to look into it, with the likely outcome being the setting up of a pilot project. If all goes as planned, it is possible that the later closing times for some restaurants and bars could be in place in time for the introduction of late-night MBTA service, which is expected to happen sometime this spring.

The mayor is going to officially introduce the plan this afternoon at a Boston Municipal Research Bureau meeting at the Seaport Hotel.

[July 1 update: The Boston Globe states that plans to allow city restaurants and bars to stay open later have been rejected, with a group of lawmakers voicing concerns about drunk driving and a diminished quality of life in the neighborhoods where the dining and drinking spots reside. (The article also says that the proposed closing hour being looked at was 4:00 AM, rather than the 3:30 AM closing time mentioned above.)]