Bill Authorizing Extended Hours for Alcohol Bar Services Goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for His Signature

The State Assembly today approved a bill that would let West Hollywood and eight other cities extend their alcohol service hours at bars and restaurants from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Now the bill, already approved in the State Senate, goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.

If Brown signs the bill, the West Hollywood City Council and the governing bodies of the other cities would have to decide whether to implement the measure in what will be a five-year pilot program beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

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 alcohol-serving hours as late as 4 a.m. State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) then introduced a new version that would limit the right to extend drinking hours to six cities — San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento, West Hollywood and Long Beach — all of which have endorsed the idea. Later Palm Springs, Coachella and Cathedral Springs were added to the bill.

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 has provoked 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.

Capt. Sergio Aloma, who heads the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, has spoken against extending alcohol serving hours to 4 a.m., citing concerns about drunk driving. The extension also has been opposed by a majority of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission.


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WeHoMikey
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WeHoMikey

Our most-recent national election proved that we don’t vote for what’s best for our society, but rather for short-sighted, self-serving results.
This bill follows that very predictable pattern.

Manny
Guest
Manny

Agreed…..There is zero advantage to society by extending alcohol sales to 4am. But unfortunately, our council members and the chamber of commerce will put their heads in the sand or make some excuse about how that we need this to survive in the modern world.

But it’s not about a good time or competition or having a relevant night life, it’s about money folks….penize, penge, raha, dinero, penger……Just say it!

Webuiltthiscity
Guest
Webuiltthiscity

Now is the time to speak up! If you don’t want this passed CALL Jerry Brown’s office and say so! If Sacramento is only hearing from the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce they will think we (the residents of West Hollywood) want these extended hours. Let’s stop it!

Manny
Guest
Manny

Done!

Manny
Guest
Manny

Another bad idea from this reckless Senator.

C.R.
Guest
C.R.

Scott Weiner is a great young representative for California and the gay community. I look forward to him continuing to do great progressive work for this state. As such, this is long overdue and there had better not be any further road blocks like our Governor or city council standing in the way. This is progressing, allowing people more options. It’s the UBER/LYFT era plus we have the Pick Up trolleys. We can’t child-proof West Hollywood from DUI’s any better. So there’s no more excuses.

Greg
Guest
Greg

That’s ridiculous Eric. I am a resident and home owner. We don’t all live on the same clock. If you don’t want to stay out late then don’t. This is a nightlife city not a farming community. Even Mike Pence’s Indiana is 3am. If you’re worried about health & well being help get smoking banned.

cameron
Guest
cameron

One hand you are correct – WeHo is an urban village that you expect to have noise but as someone who lives essentially right on SM Blvd, I don’t think it is unreasonable to not want to hear screaming, drunk 20-year olds at 4:00 am leaving the bars.

If you don’t already know, drunk people tend to speak/yell 100 decibels louder than everyone else

Mohib Jivan
Guest

LOL! These screaming drunk millennials have their own bars in their apartments! You are absolutely right drunk people yell 100 decibels above. I was getting that in my complex when I used to live on N. Laurel Avenue. They come home from the bars, and continue the booze consumption at home, some on meth which is easily available in WeHo! Yeah–drunken catfights and banging doors at 4:00 am….constantly.

Jonny
Guest
Jonny

Cameron you could have lived anywhere in LA and you chose to live in the middle of West Hollywood on Santa Monica Blvd, and now you are moaning about noise? You had a choice!!

JHD
Guest
JHD

As it is, we already have rowdy drunks urinating and making noise on the residential streets adjacent to Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevards. We don’t need to extend the hours in which people can get inebriated, as them seem to do just fine with the current 2 a.m. “constraints”.

Eric Jon Schmidt
Guest
Eric Jon Schmidt

If Jerry Brown signs this into law, this will be a good opportunity for the city council to show integrity by doing the right thing. For the health and safety of our Residents, the bar hours should not be extended. The health, wellbeing and safety of all the Residents should come first and the interest of businesses, who are already doing well should not come first. This will only benefit bars and non-residents.

Jonny
Guest
Jonny

Eric “The health, wellbeing and safety of our residents” – you make this sound like a death sentence. West Hollywood has one of the earliest last-call times out of many major LGBT cities around the world. With our current time, people still get drunk and belligerent and DUIs still happen and people still make wrong choices. 4am versus 2am will have zero change and in fact it’s been proven that people binge-drink quickly before 2am here in order to get drunk before last call. I’ve lived in most major Cities that have a later license and it’s all business-as-usual. I’m… Read more »

Weho Eastside resident
Guest
Weho Eastside resident

Oh goodness, if we’re doing what’s best for the health and safety and well being of the residents of West Hollywood – you’d have moved away like you promised, @Eric Jon Schmidt.

West Hollywood has always – since the days of the Speakeasies – been a place where we support responsible alcohol use and let adults make their own responsible decisions. I hope Governor Brown signs the bill and the City Council adopts a 4 a.m. closing time! That’d be the right decision for West Hollywood.

Randy
Guest
Randy

While I’m on the fence about the extension of bar hours, I’m not sure how this “promotes responsible alcohol use.” I’m still trying to digest how this affects public safety, positive or negative. I’ve heard arguments in both directions. Even if decide I’m OK with this, I’m not sure how it benefits most local residents. This translates to more tax revenue, a city with more money to spend, but what they spend that on is the question. It seems like bar and restaurant owners have more to gain here than anyone, and they, and their employees, don’t necessarily live here,… Read more »