California cities and towns could allow bars and restaurants to serve liquor until 4:00 a.m. under a proposal by State Senator Mark Leno. Currently, the state permits booze service from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. The San Francisco Democrat says the extended hours would boost employment and promote tourism. But critics contend that the change could lead to more crime and encourage drinking and driving.

Mark Leno, California state senator representing District 3
Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director and CEO of Alcohol Justice, an alcohol industry watchdog group

  • Gracchus

    Just what SF needs, more drunks. Why would Leno want to boost support for something as self-destructive as drunkenness? What’s next, allowing smoking in offices? Alcohol is seen by the body as a poison. That is why, when the liver encounters alcohol, it devotes itself entirely to ridding the body of that alcohol, which prevents it from playing its role in fighting diseases like cancer. Maybe a little alcohol is OK but people don’t need to be drinking their 20th margarita at 3:50am. Leno’s proposal is reckless, motivated by greed and cynically exploitative of fools.

    Are you wrecking your brain?

  • Jen

    In Wisconsin in the 80s let each town set their bar times and it was a problem. Madison had a midnight bar time, Milwaukee had a 4 am bar time. Drunken college students would pile in a car to drive to 90 minutes to Milwaukee to continue partying. The state changed it to a uniform state bar time to stop this behavior.

  • I might support such an idea. From a hotel worker’s perspective: guests from other parts of the globe or even country arrive starry-eyed in San Francisco later in the evening, hungry or thirsty, and I’m forced to apologize that nothing’s open. SF could use a few zoned areas of later serving hours.

  • guest

    Mark Leno, a member of the Senate Judiciary, was present during that 2/23/10 hearing. When is he going to draft legislation for this
    issue? And why isn’t Forum discussing this civil rights issue?

    For the past THREE years, the Legislature has IGNORED the UCLA/RAND report on the STATEWIDE FAILURE IN THE ENFORCEMENT of the FAIR EMPLOYMENT AND HOUSING ACT (FEHA), the first comprehensive review of the anti-discrimination employment statutes in the 50 years since its enactment.

    “The separate and unequal administrative and legal systems…provide little protection for employees in low-wage occupations, racial minorities, and women, with substantial disparities in access, outcome, and deterrence.”

  • Kim

    Since law makers seem extremely concerned with the health of workers when it comes to issues like second hand smoke, I wonder if they realize the detrimental impact of late work and shift work on health? Disrupting the natural circadian cycles of the body increases risk for cancer, heart disease, obesity, and a number of mental health disorders.

  • Josh Goldstein

    This seems reasonable provided that public transport is running (or starts running) when the bars close. If you can prevent drunk people from being a hazard to themselves and others, then why should we care when they stop?

  • tomahtoe

    I’d like to know what support the ‘spirits’ and beer industry is providing to Senator Leno for this initiative.

  • la_donna

    What areas of town is Leno talking about, zoned entertainment areas? These are the areas that the tech workers he talks about are clamoring to live in, driving rents up, and those people aren’t going to want it to be party time until 4 a.m. outside their homes. Believe me, as a long time bartender in SF, I’d love a place to have a drink after my shift ends since the ABC has seen to it that we can not do that in our own establishments. Why not have all places with licenses stay open until 4 instead of ghettoizing the places where this can happen?

  • Guest

    Mr. Leno gets his argument precisely wrong. Correct, many tech workers do not work 9-5. Many tech workers in California are tied to the East coast business day and are up and at work earlier and earlier. That means the increase in drunken drivers would disastrously correlate with non-traditional work hours. This idea is half baked.

    • Brad

      “Many” is a gross exaggeration. I’ve been working in the tech industry in SF for 10 years and have never met a single person tied to east coast hours; I have barely met any who get to work before 10am (PST).

      • Guest

        Well Brad, I’ve been working in it for 13 years. I’m married to someone whose whole office has the experience I described, so pardon the rest of us if our reality doesn’t contour itself to your lifestyle. Do you get to play kickball at lunch time and ride scooters around the office too? That’s just swell.

        • shinitaru

          Yet somehow you think that your experience invalidates his. Hilarious that you think that longer bar hours will make the streets more hazardous. Irresponsible drinkers are going to be a threat no matter what, even if they have to brown bag it. the responsible ones will call a cab or call in sick. I all comes down to an individuals tendencies which wont be changed by longer bar hours

          • Guest

            My experience is different from his, it doesn’t invalidate it. It is hilarious that you seem to think the safety of our streets have no mitigating variables at all?

          • shinitaru

            there’s just no talking to people like you who live in a logic bubble where they are always right. Too bad you were trying too hard to conform to my style then to actually make sense. you don’t know what you are talking about

          • Guest

            I started this thread because I thought the guest on the program was using tech worker hours as a red herring to bring legislation based on only a vague notion of cosmopolitanism. If you don’t agree that there is any correlation between bar hours and drunken driving, then please just say so and start your own thread here. Share your data.

            I think there is a correlation.I think that is why we have the existing ordinances. And even if we take tech workers completely out of the equation, there are plenty of people who have to go to work early. Otherwise, we should let there be legislation passed anywhere for bars to be open 24/7.

            If this is your position, then we just disagree. No worries.

  • Andre

    I’d love to hear about the larger issue of alcohol misuse and our drinking culture as a country (excessive us on the aggregate). These laws and many others are important, but do not fully address fundamental issues around our relationship with Alcohol. A bandaid as opposed to preventing the cut….?

  • $22911251

    Leno is pushing the state to open up the Dept of Lucrative Inebriates.

    Interesting, the speakers bypassed any discussion about the sources of data which should form the basis for determining alcohol sales use permits, zoning regulations, such as public conveniences and necessity.

    ABC has been understaffed and unable to perform its mandates for over a quarter of a century. Yet Leno wants more booze and pot sales without the monitoring and enforcing capacity meant to protect public health and safety.

    Review the recent example of Walnut Creek to see the harm caused by shortsighted planning in late night bar scene. Leno do your homework.

  • Guest

    If the increased profits from extended hours go to mitigating the cost of extended hours, how is this making money for anyone??

  • Kudos to Bruce Livingston and Alcohol Justice for leading the charge to stop this gift to Leno’s special interest buddies – the restaurant and bar owners and Big Alcohol. Any additional profits they make will be paid for with the public dollars that clean up the mess of alcohol-related harm.

  • Brad

    The overreaction to this proposal is astonishing. I’m not a drinker and don’t care for drunks, but I have no problem with permitting cities the OPTION of extending bar hours. It’s done in many cities around the world, so there’s no reason it couldn’t work here. One has to wonder when SF became so puritanical…

  • A.R.

    It’s been my experience that if you haven’t scored by 2am, things can only go downhill from there. When last call comes, why not just buy an extra round or two “for a friend” if you plan to reel out the door in a semi-conscious stupor at closing time?

  • A.R.

    It’s been my experience that if you haven’t scored by 2am, things can only go downhill from there. When last call comes, why not just buy an extra round or two “for a friend” if you plan to reel out the door in a semi-conscious stupor at closing time?

  • A.R.


  • A.R.

    The comment I made about bars as pick-up spots was removed three times… No bad language, just a comment that you make bad decisions after 2am if you’re drinking and Disqus kept removing it. Kudos to kqed on the censorship!!!

  • A.R.


  • A.R.

    Hey, elevate this, Disqus!! You nerds aren’t qualified to monitor a discussion on the after-hours bar scene…Go back to the humanities building at State where Kraszny’s pets belong…

  • fascinero

    I could care less about later bar hours, but what always struck me as an important gap in entertainment service in San Francisco has been the relative dearth of all-night eateries. There have always been a few stand-outs like Sam Wo (which is closed now), The Grubsteak, a 24-hr Subway on Van Ness, and the Marina Safeway. That is what really has been a sore spot in late-night centeredness in the city for many years now.

    Frankly the other things some people are welping about seem rather silly. Of course I don’t drink, so care little about bar hours, but additionally, how can anyone complain about too few cabs? I’ve lived here over 30 years and there has been a crazy explosion of the number of cabs on the streets in the last 10 years or so, – there are far too many clogging streets today. MUNI works great although if one lives in the Marina or North Beach, even public transportation is hardly ever necessary as one can easily walk between downtown and the Northside in a half-hour or less, and I do so routinely on Fri and Saturday nights.

    Who are these stunted adults who can’t walk 15-20 min? What’s wrong with today’s people that they insist on making living in San Francisco more and more unpleasant by adding more cabs and unnecessary traffic? You want night life….get late night eateries instead of drunk people.

  • Guest

    Maybe they should just go to allowing some bars to got to 24 hours. I wonder what difference another 2 hours would make? At least with 24 hours, there’s no closing rush away from the place.

  • Why not just go to 24 hours? What difference would another 2 hours make? At least with 24 hours, there would be no rush away from the bar. I’m not a big fan of bars, but seems like the places that allow 24 hours avoid the rush away from the bar at any one time; especially a time when public transit is minimal.

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