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Closing times could affect alcohol sales

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BATON ROUGE - A new ordinance introduced at Metro Council could allow bars and restaurants with a Class A License to stay open until 4 am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The ordinance would allow eligible establishments to apply for permits to stay open an extra two hours. Though, some city officials don't think the move is a wise idea.

"We already know that there is a direct correlation to crime and increase in criminal activity, so why would we put in a measure to allow that opportunity to be even further," said District 10 Councilwoman Tara Wicker. "You know, extending it until four in the morning is going to have a powerfully negative impact."

Still, some bar managers think the ordinance could boost business, especially downtown.

"I don't see the extra two hours making any difference as far as that goes, if anything I can see it helping the continued growth of downtown and the continued growth in Baton Rouge," said Ryan Fairman, manager at Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant.

Not every bar owner is on board with the plan, though, including Ivar's Owner Pat Quigley.

"You know a wise man once said, nothing good happens after midnight, so extending the time is probably going to lead to more crime, it's going to create more DWIs, I think the system is working well as it is right now," said Quigley.

The metro council could discuss the ordinance at the next meeting.


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