Mayor Jennings met with Albany bar owners last week, encouraging them to bump their serving hours back to a 2AM close time.  State law permits bars to be open until 4am so the change, at this point, would be voluntary.  Several bars have embraced the concept under the condition that all counties abide by the same rules – Albany, Schenectady, Troy etc. I can’t blame them for fearing their patrons will abandon the Albany area for other counties that allow you to be out later.

Who is to blame for all this?  The knuckleheads who throw drinks, start fights, pee on things, instigate with Albany PD, etc.  The mayor believes bumping back closing time will help remedy some of these issues.  I disagree.

If you close bars earlier, people start partying earlier.  If people start partying earlier, people start acting like fools earlier.  Let’s say the average party group starts pre-gaming at 10pm with intentions of staying out until 4am.  If they want to make up for lost time, maybe they start at 8pm?  Hmmm - I can see it now.  Joe Shmo takes his wife and kids out for a movie, some dinner and a walk downtown for ice cream to cap off the evening.  Party Paul is already hammered, starting the night at 8:30.  It’s now 10 and Paul just puked on Joe’s wife.  Think about the impact it would have on people who are out late for the purpose of enjoying a beautiful evening before heading home to wind down.

I haven’t even touched on the effect it would have on bars, some of which would undoubtedly have to close because of this change.  It’s not a good look.

I say let us stay out until 4am.  What are your thoughts? Take our poll about what time you think the bars should close.