Good idea or bad idea: Bar close at 4 a.m. instead of 2 a.m.

It has a hearing Wednesday.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Bars could pour booze until the wee hours of the morning if this bill passes.

Rep. Jeff Howe, a Republican from Rockville, has a proposal that would allow bars and restaurants to stay open – and sell booze – until 4 a.m. That's instead of the current deadline of 2 a.m. (There's a companion in the Senate too.)

He was inspired by the proposal to extend bar hours in the Twin Cities during next year's Super Bowl, telling the Pioneer Press, "If it's good for that weekend... why not do it the rest of the year," and also allow the rest of the state to take part.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by a House committee on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

A few other boozy proposals are also on the docket, including extending bar hours for the Super Bowl and allowing brew pubs to sell beer at the airport.

It's still a ways off from reality

But just because the 4 a.m. bar bill has a committee hearing doesn't mean it'll become law.

Changing liquor laws in Minnesota tends to come with a lot of debate (Sunday sales anyone?). The last time lawmakers changed bar close was 2003, when they pushed it back from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., MPR News reported at the time.

That came after years of discussion at the Capitol, with opponents saying pushing bar close later would result in more drunk driving, while the liquor industry supported the bill so bars could make more money, MPR News said.

Not much has been said about the arguments for or against 4 a.m. bar close this year, and Sen. Dave Osmek, a Republican sponsor of the bill in the Senate, told the Pioneer Press it isn't a priority this year.

Instead, Osmek says they're focusing on passing a bill that would allow liquor stores to sell booze on Sundays, which he told the paper has a "better than a 50-50 shot" at passing the Senate. (For those counting at home, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt has said it's likely the bill will pass the House.)

According to a 2015 Thrillist article, there are only a handful of cities/states in the U.S. where bars stay open until 4 a.m.: New York City; Hawaii (with a special license); parts of Illinois, including in Chicago; and Louisville, Kentucky.

The majority of other states, bars are open until around 2 a.m.

Next Up

Phillip Miller

Benton County prosecutor charged with sexual assault of teenager

Phillip Miller has been charged with varying levels of sexual assault charges.

Pixabay - pistol holster handgun

Permit-to-carry law doesn't violate 2nd amendment, MN Supreme Court says

A man charged with carrying a pistol without a permit argued it was unconstitutional.

covid

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, August 4

The delta variant has been leading to higher case counts and hospitalizations in Minnesota.

Gavin Kaysen, Diane Moua

Bellecour Bakery to expand to second Cooks at Crocus Hill location

Gavin Kaysen's bakery started as a pop-up at the North Loop Cooks store, but has now firmly established itself.

Pexels - classroom kid teacher student raise hand - crop

MN medical groups urge K-12 schools to adopt mask requirement for all

They say it will help protect other students who can't get vaccinated or are at risk.

Screen Shot 2021-08-04 at 9.28.39 AM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Will this crazy camp impact the season?

Mike Zimmer has called out (subtly) Kirk Cousins. What's it mean for Kirk?

Reinbold

Fugitive bomb-maker accused of killing his wife arrested in Minnesota

Eric Reinbold was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4.

motorcycle

Motorcyclist killed after being thrown from bike in St. Paul

The motorcyclist was identified as a 33-year-old from Maplewood.

Image from iOS (101)

Charges: Driver was drunk, speeding before crash that killed 1-year-old son

A total of five children were in the back seat at the time, according to the charges.

Related

The Senate passed a Sunday liquor sales bill

This is the closest Minnesota has come to having Sunday liquor sales. But there's still work that needs to be done before it's official

4 ways buses and trains could be hurt by House bill, according to transit officials

Fares could go up and service could be cut – by quite a bit.

For starting Sunday sales early, Surdyk's won't be able to sell booze for 30 days

Surdyk's license will be suspended for 30 days, starting the day Sunday sales are legally set to being.

Here's where things stand with Minnesota's budget negotiations

It's Wednesday morning and still no budget has passed.

Now it's the Senate's turn to weigh in: Sunday liquor sales will get a full vote

The House approved a bill last week – now the Senate has a chance to do the same.

Minneapolis bars can stay open until 4 a.m. for Super Bowl weekend

Bars in a few other cities will also have a later last call.