No Extending Liquor-serving hours, but yes to Sunday Store Sales

There’s an old operetta song that basically encourages and celebrates the joy of drinking.

It’s called “Drink, Drink, Drink.” Maybe on Sunday. But to all hours of the morning? Really?

Mayor Vincent Gray, always in search of surplus revenue, has proposed extending operating hours for bars and restaurants from two to three a.m. in the morning on weeknights, and from three to four a.m. on Friday and Saturday, easily the busiest drink, drink, drink nights of the week.

There is also a proposal that liquor stores in the District of Columbia be allowed to operate on Sundays, as they are currently in Virginia and Maryland.

To the first, we say: seriously?

To the second, we say, okay, why not, what’s good for Maryland and Virginia shouldn’t be that bad for the District of Columbia.

But more opportunities to be further inebriated into the early morning hours--is that a good idea? For Georgetown--where the restaurant and bar activity is high profile, as well as for such areas as downtown DC, Logan Circle on P Street, 14th and U, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, that just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

All of these neighborhoods feature a bar and restaurant scene that doesn’t always align smoothly with its residential areas. Muggings and thefts, especially at closing time, are often a feature and consequence of that scene, when customers make their way to their cars, or in the case of Georgetown University students, to their dormitories or apartments.

It hardly makes sense to us because extending hours also extends opportunities for mischief and crime and further disturbs the peace of the residential areas. The potential human costs of such an extension, it seems to us, offsets whatever increase in the coffers of restaurants and the District’s tax revenues.

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Mon, 1 Sep 2014 19:25:38 -0400

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