Should We Actually Consider Changing Last Call To 2AM?
A lawmaker from Pittsfield is looking to make a change that historically, has not gotten a lot of traction. Republican Scott Simon is hoping to introduce legislation that will change the current last call time of 1:00a.m., to 2:00a.m. in bars around the state.
Since 2007, this idea has come before state legislators five times, to no avail. Gov. LePage was a fan of changing it, but there were a lot of mixed feelings from other lawmakers, as well as law enforcement. There are no studies that support a higher level of alcohol related crimes due to a later last call, according to the BDN.
Over the years, there has been some forward movement in other areas. Lawmakers made it possible to legally serve alcohol on St. Patrick's Day, starting at 6:00a.m., but depending on where you live, you may have already seen that happening anyhow. Brian Boru, and Gritty McDuff's in Portland, have been doing similar things for years.
Only one other state in New England still has a 1:00a.m. last call, being New Hampshire. All the other states have 2:00a.m. last call. Rep. Simon feels this would bring us in line with most other states, and could be a boon to our tourism industry. Time will tell....
I know as a musician/employee of bars over the years, I have mixed feeling about it. For bands, most clubs will want you to play an extra hour, but may reluctant to pay more money. And bouncers/door people may not be as excited to let patrons have another hour to drink. But bartenders stand to make a good deal more money.
Again, time will tell. This won't go to a vote or committee until next year sometime. In the meantime, come 1:00a.m., you'll definitely find me out back, packing my gear as quickly as possible to keep my hourly rate up. Hahahaha.