Columbia Bars Will Have to Kick Out Customers at 2:00 a.m.
Scott Linaberry heads the Five Points Association
by Ed Neuhaus
The Columbia City Council voted to force bars and restaurants within city limits to close at 2:00 a.m. Currently, bars can't serve alcohol after 2:00 a.m., but customers can stay there until 4:00 a.m.
The ordinance, which will go into effect on May 1st, does provide several exemptions which could allow bars to stay open past that time.
The exemptions that those places must abide by in order to stay open past 2:00 a.m. include providing more staff training, more security, and insurance for workers.
The bars must also maintain a low incident rate of noise violations and calls to police, among other criteria.
Bar None owner Marty Dreesen says that those provisions are easy to abide by, and doesn't see a change in Bar None's hours.
"It won't affect Bar None at all," Dreesen said.
Scott Linaberry, head of the Five Points Association, doesn't see an effect on business. Linaberry, who owns the bars Sharky's and Red Hot Tomatoes, thinks it will be business as usual for most bars once the ordinance takes effect.
"I don't think business is going to skip a beat as far as the bars are concerned, mostly in Five Points," Linaberry said.