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Proposed State Law Could Push California’s Last Call at Bars to 4 a.m.

More drinking time across the state

Guest bartender Tobin Shea at Big Bar
Eugene Shoots

Great news for Californians keen to keep drinking past 2 a.m.: the LA Times is reporting that a new state law could move back closing hours for bars to 4 a.m.

Though 4 a.m. last call is not uncommon in other major cities like Chicago and New York City, Los Angeles has long been a more early-to-bed kind of town, owing in no small part to its sprawling nature and reliance on the automobile. Increased Metro ridership locally and the rise of ride sharing apps in recent years across the state have altered the need for earlier hours, and likely helped lead Senator Scott Wiener (D - San Francisco) to propose the so-called Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night Act.

The idea with the legislation is to turn over control of last call hours to individual municipalities, instead of relying on the blanket 2 a.m. mandated at the state level currently. The SF Chronicle says there has been an increased demand in recent years to get such a bill passed (though Wiener’s predecessor on the job failed to get similar legislation going in 2013), adding that the 2 a.m. cutoff has been in place since 1935.

Of course, the proposed legislation is not without opponents, including various civic organizations, nonprofits, and the San Francisco Police Officers Association. Regardless, Wiener will work to get enough support in government to push the bill through.

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