Board Votes Down Seattle's Late Bar Hours


Washington's Liquor Control Board voted 2-1 Wednesday against allowing Seattle to permit bars to serve alcohol past 2:00 a.m.

Board Chair Sharon Foster and board member Ruthann Kurose voted against the city's proposal. The only supporting vote came from board member Chris Marr, a former state senator from Spokane.

Foster voiced concerns about public safety and the burden neighboring cities would bear as a result of Seattle's late closing times. Marr said voting down the proposal represents "a huge opportunity lost."

Keeping bars open as late as 6:00 a.m. was a part of Mayor Mike McGinn's Seattle Nightlife Initiative, which also addresses transportation options, noise and public nuisances.

Seattle Police stood with McGinn in favoring the proposal, citing it would stagger crowds that flood out of bars at 2:00 a.m., making the streets more manageable. Critics disagreed, saying crime and mischief would increase with drunken behavior.

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