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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Friday, April 16, 2010

How late should the Saratoga Springs bars stay open?

For all of my adult life I've lived in Saratoga Springs, and I've always enjoyed walking downtown for an evening out. But those evenings start and end a lot earlier than they used to.

More often than not, I've had a drink and dinner and am back home by, say, 9 p.m., which is earlier than the time I used to head downtown to begin a night out. The corner revived by the City Tavern used to be where a guy sold late, late night pizza that, at that hour, hit the spot.

But enough memory lane. Let's talk about now, about the wee hours of the morning.

Should the bars continue to stay open until 4 in the morning? Should they close at 2? The fatal hit-and-run on St. Patrick's Day (really, early the next morning) has brought this perennial question to the fore. What do you think? What do you recommend for closing time, and why?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should be allowed to saty oen around the clock, if they so choose.

Yes, this will the prevent crime spikes brought about by having arbitrary closing hours.

Becasue if you make the closing time 2AM, 1AM, 11PM, 10PM, it's all going to result in the same thing--problems when everyone disburses at a common point in time

If there is no set/universal closing time,that problem disappears.

Think about it. Makes sense, doesn't it?

April 16, 2010 at 7:16 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No....the bars should close at 2 am like every where else in the country. More people are out at 2 am when the bars close which helps diffuse some situations.

In toga at 4 am all the ridiculously drunk guys realize they aren't going to get laid, because no girls are even out (they are too smart to be out at this time). Then they get pissed off and are ready to fight.

April 17, 2010 at 12:27 AM 
Anonymous tomllewis said...

As an older person, with my "partying days" over, I believe that 2 AM is "safer."

I do remember, when I worked at The Rafters, that I thought 3 AM was fine. But in those days, as I look back, many of us weren't very responsible.

The later bars stay open, the higher the likelihood of alcohol related accidents.

April 17, 2010 at 5:29 PM 
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Bars close at midnight in Boston. Do you think that has any effect on their rate of crime?

No. You know why? Because people start drinking earlier.

Incidents are going to happen whenever you have booze flowing. It's just a matter of when they are. And for the record, I agree one hundred percent with the first commenter.

April 18, 2010 at 11:25 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what the police records can tell us about the numbers of arrests after 2 am compared to those before on a weekend or holiday. I wonder what the costs of police overtime are to the city for the police working weekednds in SS? What are the DPW costs cleaning up Caroline and Broadway on weekend mornings? I have cetaionly seen lots of cigarette butts. Has the Downtown Business group ever taken a vote by secret ballot so that bar owners could vote their real preference whithout fearing the other owners. What action needs to be taken but the county Alcohol Board. Does the city council need to send our supervisors and others to the county board? What are the clean up costs to downtown stores fom trash of partying bar clientele?

I would hope that the businesses and the city would look on the Saratogian's interst in this issue positively and will help change the bar hours for the benefit of the people who must listen to our noisy downtown on sumer nights.

April 18, 2010 at 4:10 PM 
Blogger Fresh Ink said...

Actually, we are looking into the records to answer to that question concerning the timing of arrests. Stay tuned.

April 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Comm. Franck thinks the solution to the city’s financial trouble is firing cops and closing bars he is wrong. . He states this will prevent incidents like the recent Hit & Run/ Manslaughter case which occurred downtown after a fight outside a bar. The city can’t afford this. The city gets 3 cents for every dollar spent in the city. If Comm Franck wants the Bar owners to close their businesses he is asking for another dent in the economy. This won’t help the cities woes but will add to them. When the bars close the party will just move. House parties are harder to control with legal and underage drinkers attending. Drinking is heavier as the alcohol is cheaper and party-goers band together against the police officers. This adds up to drunk drivers, injured cops and yes….more overtime.
The Saratoga Springs Police Department did an outstanding job in investigating the crime perpetrated on Ryan Rossley and in gaining a conviction in less than two months. This is obviously a record time in any city or state. But if there were MORE COPS ON THE STREET maybe, just maybe there would have been a few arrests for disorderly conduct followed by a few hours in jail instead of this tragedy. The only difference between closing at 2am or 4am is loss of money to the city.

April 19, 2010 at 9:21 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Bars in Boston close at 2am. The bars close early in London as well. Do a search and you will find how this creates a bad situation and often leads to much violence. Let them stay open 24/7 if they want to. It is a great drinking town, and we should keep it that way.

April 21, 2010 at 9:30 AM 
Blogger Steve Shoe said...

I stayed in beautiful downtown Rome once (New York, in the Mohawk Valley, not Italy) when I worked for the state. Across the street was a bar that seemed to be open 24/7, which in itself seemed amazing to me.

Equally amazing (but not surprising) was that it always seemed be the same characters sitting out front and discernable on the dank inside when we both left in the morning and returned in the afternoon.

What struck me as the most curious, though, is that they never seemed to change their clothes.

I personally don't think the city would be doing itself any favors by encouraging people to be hanging out at bars at 8 a.m. Kind of turns off the tourist-types out and abou for breakfast, I would suspect.

April 23, 2010 at 10:37 PM 

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