State Sen. Scott Wiener Puts 4 AM Bar Closing for WeHo Back on the Agenda

Following through on a proposal he made in November, State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) on Thursday introduced a bill that would allow bars in West Hollywood and five other California cities to stay open until 4 a.m.

Scott Wiener

The “Let Our Communities Adjust Late-night,” or Local Act failed in the legislature last year. That version would have granted all California cities the right to set bar closing hours as late as 4 a.m. Wiener’s new version would limit that right San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood and Long Beach — all of which have endorsed the idea. The West Hollywood City Council endorsed Weiner’s earlier proposal in a four to one vote in April of last year, with Councilmember Lauren Meister opposing extension of the bar hours.

The California Restaurant Association, California Travel Association and the California Hotel & Lodging Association have supported the alcohol serving hours extension. The idea is likely to provoke a debate in West Hollywood, a city that depends heavily on revenue from tourists (the hotel room occupancy tax is the single largest source of revenue to the city’s general fund). West Hollywood is known as a nightlife destination, with its Boystown gay nightlife district on the west side of Santa Monica Boulevard and the many clubs on the Sunset Strip and relatively new ones such as Delilah in the Center City area.

On the other hand, West Hollywood is the city with the most restaurant/bar liquor licenses per capita in all of Los Angeles County. Based on the number of restaurant/bar liquor licenses in 2015, WeHo by the Numbers reports that West Hollywood also ranks No. 1 in all of California in licenses per square mile, with 116. An organization called the Safe WeHo Leadership Council has been formed to develop ways to reduce alcohol-related problems in West Hollywood.

If Wiener’s bill passes and is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the West Hollywood City Council will have the right to decide whether to actually extend bar and restaurant drinking hours and on what days and until what hour, with a 4 a.m. limit.

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Joey
Joey
2 years ago

I hope we West Hollywood gets the OPTION to allow bars to stay open until 4am.

Larry Block
Larry Block
2 years ago

How many more cops are they going to add to the force. As of now we only have 23 on duty at any given time and you cant get a cop when you need one. The crime is skyrocketing and the expansion of the bars seems like a bullet train so maybe we can digest what is in the pipeline before entering a point of no return.

JJ
JJ
2 years ago

@ Erik – you bring up all excellent and very valid points as to why an extra two hours is NOT NEEDED. The only reason to do it is for $$$$$$$.

JJ
JJ
2 years ago

@ C.R. & Jimmy: Yes, we realized that we moved to and live in THE nightlife destination of the Los Angeles area. Having said that, when we all chose to move here the cut off time was 2am (and has been..since like forever). That was and is acceptable to us. Extending the hours to 4am is NOT acceptable to us. Over the last couple of years, the neighborhoods just north and south of the boulevard through Boys Town on the west-end have seen an increasingly number of nights where the noise level has increased so much that it’s ruining what… Read more »

C.R.
C.R.
2 years ago

Thank you, Jimmy. That’s what this is about to me, a whole lot of people live in the L.A. area, of all different backgrounds and we have different lifestyles. We should not all be expected to keep the same hours, with some “nanny state” trying to keep us all in lockstep that way. That anyone would have the gall to suggest such a thing living in between Boystown and the Sunset Strip of all places is just laughable. As more of a night owl, I don’t whine and complain about the noise when I need to catch up on sleep… Read more »

Jimmy Palmieri
2 years ago

West Hollywood is not a sleepy bedroom town. It is a thriving, nightlife destination. Coming from the East coast, I was shocked when I realized everything closed down so early. We never even went out until midnight back home. The reason property values are so high is because of the way the city is run , not in spite of it. I know people love to hear the Urban Village urban legend routine, but that is not what Weho is. It is a city. A bustling city, and like it or not, a very successful, financially stable city. I hope… Read more »

gayweho
2 years ago

Keeping bars open later actually encourages LESS (or at least SLOWER) drinking, not more. The attendance peaks at our bars around midnight, so when bars “last call” only an hour and a half later, all that accomplishes is a surge of encouraged drinking, then dumping everyone out on the street. Optional later closing hours help distribute crowds and reduce the tendendancy to drink up only because you’re being dumped out on the street. Longer hours may also increase the viability of extended entertainment, increasing local arts and culture and those who work so hard to create and present it. This… Read more »

KC
KC
2 years ago

I am a resident of West Hollywood and am strongly opposed to this extension. Do the residents of West Hollywood have a say in this? Perhaps it should be put on our next ballot, rather than being decided on by the few city council members.

erik
erik
2 years ago

He has the perfect last name. But seriously, folks this is like throwing gasoline on a fire. More car and pedestrian accidents as sober people are on their way to work and drunks are spilling out pf bars. there is no good reason for this a lot needs to be looked into about the motives for this proposal. The Sheriff’s Department has limited resources as it is, what add to it?

Frank
Frank
2 years ago

Y’all sound boring :p

C.R.
C.R.
2 years ago

Cue the NIMBYs, as usual, despite the fact that they all knowingly moved to one of the most thriving nightlife destinations in the country, much less in L.A. County. This is loooong overdue, compared to other parts of the nation, not to mention the world. A fair compromise is to extend the hours on the weekends as a trial, rather than every day of the week. Even though in my opinion, 4 am itself is a compromise. The value of West Hollywood in 2017 is in its nightlife. Retail is very sparse and this is not going to change. Be… Read more »

Adjust Not
Adjust Not
2 years ago

Perhaps the City of West Hollywood could be considered drug addicted. The drug in this case would be the lifeline contributions from developers of more hotels than would seem reasonable. Add to that the California Restaurant Assoc, California Travel Assoc., California Hotel and Lodging Assoc. City with the most bar/restaurant liquor licenses per square mile in Calif. The enablers would be the City Council Members with who knows what type of direction or encouragement from the City Manager and Finance Department. Developers also play a role here in their relationships with Planning & Community Development. Feeding the beast is a… Read more »

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