“We have a 24-hour city, we have a 24-hour world,” Skip Coburn, executive director of the D.C. Nightlife Association, said.
Committee member Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, said he supports the proposal. In remarks from the dais, he emphasized the size and importance of the city’s immense hospitality industry.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it, myself,” he said.
Mr. Coburn said the extended hours should be considered on a case-by-case basis, citing unique zoning and community concerns. City regulators evaluate special requests from individual bars all the time and should be able to handle it, he said.
Nonetheless, long-standing agreements with community groups could prohibit many owners from extending their hours. Voluntary agreements between bars and neighborhood groups that mandate specified closing hours would stay in place.
Some of those agreements mirror the closing time listed by law and could take on “new significance” under the budget plan, Mr. Graham noted.
Nightclubs Mr. Karim dryly referred to the pacts as “a noose around our necks.”
“There’s nothing voluntary about it,” he said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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