CHS: Liquor Board says no to extended bar hours

It is safe to say that the Washington State Liquor Board is not among our state’s most beloved institutions. Voters kicked the state out of the liquor sales business by passing I-1183 last year, and the Central District had it’s own kerfuffle with the Board when a shortsighted rule change threatened a beloved institution.

Now, the Board of three voted 2-1 to reject a proposal from Seattle that would allow cities to extend bar close hours. Capitol Hill Seattle has the background:

Despite arguments from city officials that the change would make Seattle a safer place and pleas from Capitol Hill nightlife entrepreneurs to have more freedom to set their own course, the Washington Liquor Control board voted 2 to 1 Wednesday morning to deny the City of Seattle petition to grant local municipalities the power to set their own liquor service hours.

In March, the board members came to Seattle for a hearing on the petition that included a heavily Capitol Hill-flavored period of public comment on the proposed changes. Proponents argued that allowing bars that met certain standards to serve later into the wee hours would eliminate last call binging and the rush of bar patrons into and onto the streets at 2 a.m. Opponents said the initiative was driven by business interests and would spread the maladies of closing time into all hours of the day. The Seattle Times reports that police chiefs in Spokane and Vancouver spoke against the proposal and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs voted last week to oppose it.

The denial is a blow to Mayor Mike McGinn’s Seattle Nightlife Initiative, an effort to embrace the city’s food and drink economy.

In other liquor news, the 23rd and Union Liquor Store is dark today as the state hands the keys over to its new owners. The store is having it’s grand reopening Saturday, but it will probably be open for at least some of Friday, too.

You can watch video of the Liquor Board meeting here:


25 thoughts on “CHS: Liquor Board says no to extended bar hours

  1. I don’t think I’ve stayed out past midnight in years, but it still ticks me off that government wants to tell me when to go home!

  2. they’re not telling you when to go home, they’re telling you when you can no longer buy liquor at a bar.

  3. 3 member board, not elected, not from Seattle, telling us what we can or cant do. One board member lives in Spokane, one in Olympia, and one lives on Mercer Island. Somehow they know what’s best for Seattle. I’ll bet none of them have been out past midnight in decades.

  4. Very well said. Can we assume the ‘government can’t tell me what I can and can’t do’ sentiment applies to more than bed time? Marriage? Guns (ouch)? Reproduction? Health insurance?

    We all need to get on one side. Name the core responsibilities of government and the methods allowed. And get them out of everything else.

    I’m not married (yeah yeah yeah, obvioulsy, etc.) Why is my tax filing any different from somebody who is? Why, by virtue of benefits are others more highly compensated? The social engineering doesn’t work. Have families become stronger over the last 50 years?

    It will be fun to see how private booze sales goes and what effect it has. I’m excited about it and politically for it, but, there is some disaster potential.

  5. This vote rejected the city’s petition to start a discussion of possibly changing the rules. Essentially they said they didn’t even want to talk about it. Actually changing the rules happens farther along in the process.

  6. Let’s privatize the Liquor Control Board!

    By the way, I’ve given up on Democrats and Republicans. I, actually at various times, was in fact one or the other and did the whole caucus crap.

    But now I have joined the Coctail Party. We believe that all things can be solved or forgoten by people coming together for a drink, or two, or three…. Seriously. Join the Coctail Party of Seattle and bring cheers back to the city! Can I be Mayor?

  7. Why do you think privatized booze sales is some kind of novel social experiment? 30+ other states do it, is it somehow weird and so different in any of those states? I’ve lived in at least 3 other states while over drinking age–all with privatized sales– and I couldn’t point to anything different in any of them from here– other than small fluctuations from one to the other in what it costs to buy it, or whether you can buy it on sunday or not. It’s just not that big a deal.

  8. Thank god for this. We don’t need a round the clock town. I am glad they shut it down.

  9. The WSLCB is the last outpost of the neo-puritanical pearl clutchers and moral scolds. When the baby boomers go, the board will go.

  10. I used to think extending bar hours was probably wise- the argument seems pretty sound that not dumping a bunch of drunks onto the streets all at once and all together at 2am is a good idea, but I’ve now seen not one, but two different research studies that have concluded the exact opposite… one found that for each hour longer bars were open assaults increased in the surroundings by 20%…..

    Now just two studies are probably not the definitive word on the subject, but that was what I was able to turn up in pretty short order. It is possible that having looked into the issue more thoroughly, the WSLCB may be less the prudish scolds you are accusing them of being and more the types who’ve done their homework. If you are really concerned about it, look into the topic and find some good evidence to support your view, before condemning them out of hand.

  11. We don’t need to present our case. We have the right to do what ever the heck we want. The government needs to prove its case against us before setting our bed times. I don’t need nanny Olympia telling me when to go home.

  12. again, they’re not setting your bedtime, they’re telling you when you can no longer buy liquor at a bar.

  13. Wow – listen to yourself Perkie – you are the case for the state needing to be a nanny…. wah wah I should be able to do what ever I want. I don’t need to act like an adult and actually form a valid argument for anything. I should just be able to do it because I want to, so there. You’re not the boss of me. You sound like a 3 year old.

    Like it or not you actually do not have the right to do what ever the heck you want. Be an adult, form a valid argument about why it would actually be a benefit to society, or at very least not a menace, to allow public drinking establishments to have longer hours or quietly go drink at home.

  14. That sounds to me like a generous read on the Liquor Control Board’s actions- but who knows? My understanding was that the mayor and city council had support from the Seattle Police Department, but hadn’t gotten all of law enforcement on board (

    But more broadly- if research says something is statistically bad for us, does that mean we should outlaw it? Pubs are “Public” venues- places where great culture can come together. Whenever people congregate there is risk, but that should be something that we can manage without curfews, right?

  15. Riiiighht, be an aadult says the cd neighbor who wants to continue his glory days of high school debate 3rd string. What a joke.

    Most situations are that simple. You have people who feel the need to attempt to control the lives of other – cd neighbor, the churches, nanny obama – vs good people like me. Die scum.

  16. And that is the start of a reasonable and thought out argument for. I’m not objecting to the idea that there might be arguments for allowing bars to be open later – I just think that ‘because I want it and I should get whatever I want’ isn’t good enough.

    I do think that referring to it as a curfew is a bit of exaggeration… it’s just the sale of liquor that has to stop at a certain time, they aren’t making you go home or get off the streets or even stop drinking for that matter….

  17. – that last comment was a reaction to Ryan, not Perkie…. who is apparently not reasonable at all. Grow up.

  18. It just so happens that I am a doctor. All I can tell you about your condition is that your diapers are soiled cd. We are not certain why.

  19. When you see something your mind processes the data, codes it, compares it, compiles it, and files it away. These are observations. Your mind has a 24hour live feed that it sorts and processes day and night. It recieves observations at night filtering in as sounds, vibrations, light. You are startled from sleep by thumps in the night and process until you realize it is the neighbor taking out the trash or it’s the boogie man and you grab the AR and pan the street hoping for a clear shot.

    You add these thing up and you know what is going on around you. But what you are told is that what you see is anecdotal, it is meaningless in the larger sceme. Just your biased puny sliver of an ignoramous life. Too be valid your perceptions must be in line with and supported by authoritarian studies, financed by the state, compiled by “educators” (academics). You must write it out. Use important words and cross reference to other government funded studies.

    Your statemens must fit in to prescribed argumentative paradigms again precribed by “educators”. These government thought monitors do not allow that your 10, 20, 30, 50 years of observation and study are as valid as the structured study and argument. No, you must reference and rely on authority. Your own opinion is frivolous, silly, you are dumb.

    Let me suggest that this is not the case. Trust yourself. Let your mind freely track the world and make conclusions. Don’t listen to these uptight ninnies like cd neighbor that have never had an original thought in their lives.

  20. … a bunch of bigoted, self-centered tea-party a-holes have moved into the CD?

    or are they just coming out onto the blogs now?

  21. … the loud mouthed communists of Seattle have gone too far and the rest of us now have to spend more of out time shouting them down and kicking them out of our lives?

    How have they managed to lead with such backward downtrodden ideals?

  22. You all make no sense…. I see neither evidence of tea partiers (who are for local control and would likely be for allowing the neighborhood to set bar hours) or communists (who believe alcohol to be a bad social influence and would likely prefer to restrict it further) in this neighborhood, just people throwing out name calling when they cannot form an otherwise coherent argument.

    My one and only point remains that throwing a kicking screaming tantrum while yelling I want it, I want it, I want it isn’t acceptable or attractive behavior in a 3 year old, much less an adult.

    If you persist in childish behavior and name calling no one is going to listen to you or take you seriously. Use researched facts, use philosophical discourse, but at least form a more credible argument than “I want it and your not the boss of me”

    Let me state for the record… I’m not against drinking, I don’t even necessarily think that allowing bars open later would be a bad thing. It does seem that there must be a better solution than dumping all inebriated people out together at 2am – but I also haven’t deluded myself into thinking that I am the all knowing and all powerful OZ…. I looked into it a bit and what I uncovered in just a little research was that the WALCB may have some reasons for their decision. So, I think that instead of yelling at them about how prudish and nannying they are (which won’t actually accomplish anything besides establishing you as a ignorable nuisance), the more reasonable course would be really think about it, do a little homework and produce a sensible argument for your point.

  23. Nobody is throwing a tantrum. We are just applying labels to things and people so they can be more easily promoted or demoted. As a popular superhero that is what people expect and demand of me.

    Labelling is a very effective tool. It is much like political cartoons and satire. And don’t fool yourself.

    This town is full of commies – read the green party platform. If democrats were not dependent on their party to drive redistribution of wealth 64% would go to the green, socialist, and communist parties.

    The Tea Party doesn’t exist. I favor the Cocktail Party. We are for drinking. No political discussions are allowed without at least one coctail. Speaking of which, it is that time.