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Philly pol wants to allow bars to stay open til 4 a.m.

A bartender pours a drink. Some bars could be pouring customers drinks til 4 a.m. in Getty Images

Unlike party cities like New Orleans that rock all night, Philadelphia sees most of its nightlife dry up and fade away around 2 a.m. when bars are legally required to close.

But a state representative wants to change that, saying it could boost the city’s economy.

State Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Phila) announced Tuesday he is introducing legislation to authorize “extended use permits” to certain bars that would allow them stay open until 4 a.m., the standard closing time for bars in New York City.

“We need to create an environment where the nightlife encourages young people who become educated here to stay in our Commonwealth to live, work and play,” Rep. Harris said in a statement.

Clearly, Harris knows some people who are under 30.

“While I understand nightlife isn’t the only concern for those making a decision on whether to stay in cities across Pennsylvania or move, I do know that it is a concern, one that we can fix, enhance and as a city, benefit from,” his statement continued.

Well, it is is a significant concern, Rep. Harris, and we salute you for seeking to address it.

Harris said the extended hours permit isn’t intended for local neighborhood bars but for bars in areas with higher economic activity and more of a tourism presence.

Local leaders are positive on the bill as well.

“This legislation will take our nightlife to the next level,” said Ben Stango, a board member of Young Involved Philly. “It will also generate funds for the city and state, while incorporating responsible oversight to preserve the peace and quiet of our neighborhoods.”

Financially, bars with the extended hours would be required to pay an additional 10 percent of the yearly liquor license fee. Half would go to the municipality and half would go to the State Stores fund, Harris said.

If passed into law this legislation would apply to municipalities statewide.

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