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4 a.m. last call could be coming to San Francisco, Oakland bars under new proposal

S.F. lawmakers' proposal would extend bars' last call to 4 a.m.
S.F. lawmakers' proposal would extend bars' last call to 4 a.m. 02:15

SAN FRANCISCO – Bars in San Francisco, Oakland and several other cities in California could be allowed to stay open until 4 a.m. under a new proposal brought on by two Bay Area lawmakers.

State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Matt Haney, both Democrats representing San Francisco, introduced Senate Bill 930 at a briefing on Friday. The measure would allow seven pilot cities across the state to extend alcohol sales at bars, nightclubs and restaurants from 2 a.m. to as late as 4 a.m.

"California's one-size-fits-all approach to nightlife — requiring all alcohol sales to end at 2 am, whether in downtown LA or a rural small town — makes no sense. It's time to allow cities that want to extend their nightlife the ability to do so," Wiener said in a statement.

Supporters also claimed the measure would help establishments that have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with businesses that serve the LGBTQ community and other marginalized communities.

"We've lost so many historic venues and bars, it is going to take years to rebuild," Haney said. "Extending hours to 4am even a few days a week will save historic businesses, create thousands of jobs, and support arts, culture and community."

Along with San Francisco and Oakland, other cities in the pilot program include West Hollywood, Fresno, Coachella, Cathedral City and Palm Springs.

"This bill would help to bring San Francisco and some other places that opt in into the upper echelon of world-class nightlife, that the entire world has been enjoying for generations," Ben Bleiman, managing partner of the Tonic Nightlife Group, said Friday. "And we, for some reason, are cut out of it."

According to Wiener's office, the proposal does not automatically extend last call for the seven cities. The communities would be allowed to limit extended alcohol sales to certain neighborhoods, to certain nights of the week or to only a few nights a year.

Any establishment seeking a permit to extend hours would undergo normal review by the state's Bureau of Alcoholic Beverage Control with full public notice, the senator said.

Wiener has tried extending last call before. The legislature passed a similar measure in 2018, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown.

If approved by the legislature and governor, the pilot program would begin in 2025 and the measure would sunset after five years.

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