Supporters of Bill to Allow Cities to Extend Alcohol Service Hours to 4 a.m. Join Senator Wiener, Assemblymembers Santiago & Dababneh at Press Conference in Downtown LA
Los Angeles – Today California legislators and Los Angeles nightlife supporters joined together in the Broadway Theater District in Downtown Los Angeles calling for the passage of a bill authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to allow communities to expand nightlife in California. Senator Wiener was joined by co-authors Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills) and Los Angeles nightlife and hospitality leaders, who spoke about the positive economic and cultural benefits of Senate Bill 384. SB 384 allows – but does not require – local communities to extend alcohol service to as late as 4 a.m. The LOCAL Act, which stands for Let Our Communities Adjust Late Night, applies to bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, but not to liquor stores.
SB 384 is pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which is the last stop for the bill before being considered by the full Assembly. In May, the LOCAL Act passed the Senate with a bipartisan super-majority vote of 27-9.
“Nightlife is crucial to the economy and culture of many of our cities, and we should be doing more to empower our communities to support nightlife,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “The LOCAL Act recognizes that cities like Los Angeles could benefit – if it chooses to do so – from developing a plan to expand nightlife in neighborhoods like Downtown LA. By taking this nuanced approach to empower – but not require -- local communities to extend alcohol sales hours, we can support nightlife in California while also recognizing that there is not a one-sized fits all solution for each and every city in our great state.”
Senator Wiener was joined at the press conference by co-authors Assemblymember Santiago, who represents downtown LA, and Assemblymember Dababneh.
“Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. Every day, we attract tourists from across the globe to experience everything our region has to offer, especially our vibrant nightlife,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago. “As the Assemblymember representing downtown Los Angeles, I am proud to be a principal co-author of SB 384, which will allow communities like ours to set their own alcohol beverage ‘closing times.’ This proposal is a great step forward for our city and others across the state that thrive on evening entertainment.”
“California has the opportunity to follow the lead of global destinations, such as New York, Miami, New Orleans and Chicago, by allowing local jurisdictions to decide until what time alcohol can be served in restaurants, bars and nightclubs,” said Assemblymember Matt Dababneh. “This option may not be right for every community, which is why SB 384 does not mandate, but allows communities to debate, discuss and decide if extending hours of sale is right for them. I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Wiener and my Assembly colleagues to get this bill to the Governor.”
Also in attendance were leaders from the Los Angeles nightlife, entertainment, and business communities, including Jessica Lall from the Central City Association, Cedd Moses from 213 Hospitality, David Cooley who owns the Abbey and the Chapel, Adele Yellin of the Grand Central Market, and Nicole Solum, a member of Unite Here Local 11.
“The hospitality industry is critical in transforming Downtown Los Angeles into a thriving 24/7 destination,” said Jessica Lall, President & CEO of the Central City Association. “It creates jobs, increases local revenue and keeps people Downtown. SB 384 would add to this vibrant environment by giving residents and visitors the option to extend their visits at our first-class restaurants and entertainment venues.”
“As a business owner, I have seen firsthand that hospitality venues provide economic opportunities for communities,” said Cedd Moses, CEO of 213 Hospitality, which includes numerous bars in Downtown LA including the Broadway Bar. “This bill would enable business owners like myself to provide more jobs and work with local government to provide safe nightlife options.”
“Ridesharing and improvements in public transportation have totally changed how people go out in Los Angeles,” said David Cooley, CEO, owner and founder of The Chapel and The Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood, known as the ‘Best Gay Bar in the World.’ “People are safer and more responsible with their transportation choices but our laws regulating alcohol service have not kept up with the global nightlife industry. By extending service hours, we’ll be able to compete with nightlife destinations all over the world and bring more money back to our businesses, our employees, and our local communities.”
“Guests at the Biltmore are constantly asking why nothing is open past 2 AM. SB 384 is pro-family legislation that will mean more hours, more jobs and more pay at good wages and allow residents and visitors alike to enjoy the best of the west coast," said Nicole Solum, a concierge at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and a proud member of UNITE HERE Local 11, Southern California's hospitality union, who also lives in Downtown LA.
The LOCAL Act has bipartisan support with Assemblymembers Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia), Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) and Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), and Senators Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) joining Assemblymembers Santiago and Dababneh as co-authors. It is also supported by the California Restaurant Association, California Travel Association, California Hotel and Lodging Association, California Music and Culture Association, UNITE-HERE, and California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, as well as many others. For a full list of the LOCAL Act’s supporters, please see the attached fact sheet or click here.
California’s nighttime and hospitality industry, including food service, bars/clubs, restaurants, and live music, generate many billions of dollars in consumer spending and employ well over a million Californians. Tourism in California generated $117.5 billion in spending in 2014 and supported over a million jobs.
American cities with late-night service hours beyond 2 a.m. include Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City, Buffalo, Las Vegas, Louisville, Atlanta, Miami Beach, New Orleans, and Atlanta. 20 states allow alcohol sales after 2 a.m.
The LOCAL Act will establish a process involving local government, local law enforcement, the general public, and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to extend the hours of alcohol sales to a specified time between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. in specific areas. Extended alcohol sale hours could be conditioned to include only specific days of the week or certain holidays.