New extended nightclub hours get mixed reactions
By Danielle Johnson
Tallahassee’s nightclub goers will be able to hang out in their favorite nightspot for a little longer, beginning Friday.
But they won’t be allowed to consume alcoholic drinks during the extended hours. Tallahassee City Commissioners recently approved an ordinance that will allow local bars and restaurants to remain open until 4 a.m. The ordinance was approved by a 3-2 vote.
But even without serving alcohol, late night businesses see the extra two hours as a financial boon.
“In terms of how businesses may be affected, they’re able to make more profits,” said Heather Teter, a spokesperson for the City of Tallahassee.
However, it seems the jury is still out over extended hours for bars.
“I don’t see the real benefit for consumers because essentially the consumer would be spending more money,” said 23-year-old Devin Woodmore. “Yes, it’s nice to have the option to stay out longer and enjoy your friends, but honestly by 2 or 3 a.m. I’m ready to go anyways.
“It can be a benefit to the consumer because it allows you to party longer and further enjoy nightlife which is something we usually don’t have the opportunity to do.”
For a long time, several city bar owners have questioned why they couldn’t have later hours. Now they have that as an option, or they could continue to close at 2 a.m.
Many bar patrons, including students and professionals, see the financial benefits of the possibility of later hours for nightlife.
“It will cause more work for people in the greater Tallahassee and help these owners keep their businesses longer,” said Cheryle Vangorder. “I think it will be beneficial for these businesses in the long run.”
Employees of places such as a popular eatery, Gaines Street Pies, could especially benefit financially from the longer hours they’ll be able to work. The longer hours could also provide job opportunities for others.
“Revenue is what drives businesses to prosper and what other way to acquire more money than staying open until 4 a.m.,” said Khadijah Johnson, a healthcare specialist in the Army Reserve, who patronizes businesses on Gaines Street.
Concert promoters could also find the extended hours advantageous as they would have more time to host an event. Longer hours could also mean that promoters could continue to collect admission fees later into a show.
Opening later could also allow sports bars to treat their patrons to games televised from the West Coast. Mark Giles, who finds sports bars an ideal place for watching sporting events, relishes the idea of later hours.
“Sports are big here in Tallahassee,” Giles said. “Bars will benefit the business tremendously especially on high volume days such as big game days whether it’s the Rose Bowl or a rival game such as Gators vs. FSU.
“Another benefit will be for those who work later shifts, getting off at 11p.m.or midnight; it gives them a chance to go out and enjoy themselves if they choose to.”