Pandemic Schmandemic – New Bill Will Allow Bars to Serve Later
During a time where we're encouraged to stay home or social distance if we go out, potentially extending the last call for bars seems like a bold move. Is bold the right word?
Currently in Michigan bars are allowed to serve until 2am but, under a new bill filed last week, participating bars would be able to continuing serving until 4am. According to Eater Detroit, Michigan House of Representatives voted in favor of the bill last Thursday. Any bars that want to extend their last call will have to pay a $250 fee for the permit that allows them to stay open later.
But, how does this work during a pandemic? A handful of states are actually enforcing a curfew on bars with the belief that interaction at these establishment has contributed to to rise of Covid-19 cases. In Michigan, most bars had to adapt to outdoor service to survive the summer so wouldn't a later last call be almost counter productive? They're not operating at full capacity anyway so...what's the point?
On Eater Detroit's Facebook page, citizens of Michigan gave their two cents. With Keith commenting:
Not acceptable. I am 21 years old and desperately hope this doesn’t happen. Won’t help anyone make more money & will only cause more problems for our communities. Not good for anyone.
Dustin seems to agree with me writing:
How does the timing of this work? Bars can't operate, but let's introduce and vote on a bill allowing them to be open till 4 AM. Weird....
Of the 37 comments on this post only one stands in favor...Martin. He says:
Great idea!! Other states have been doing it
Have they? As someone who went back to bartending during the pandemic to pay the bills I am sympathetic to how much of an impact closures have had not only on local businesses but on local workers. We all want to get back to normal which is completely understandable but its a tricky balance. One that could potentially have dire consequences if it leans too far in either direction, at least in my humble opinion.
The bill isn't passed just yet. It still needs to be approved by the Michigan Senate as well as Governor Whitmer. You can read the full bill here.