Downtown Orlando bars could have extended hours - FOX 35 News Orlando

Downtown Orlando bars could have extended hours

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As the Native Bar on Church Street prepares for their Wednesday night crowd they're also preparing for the potential for new rules on tap for all bars in a special downtown district.
"I think it will impact us positively, because we can draw the older crowd that I know that we're already losing to some of the tourist destinations such as I-drive, Winter Park, Disney," said Eddie Silva of T Market Group.
The City of Orlando is also trying to attract that older demographic, and that's why the Downtown Development Board is working on several new ordinances for downtown bars, including serving alcohol until 3 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
"Nightclubs staying open after 12 o'clock would have to have an after hours permit, they'd have to use electronic ID scanners to make sure we don't have underage drinking, and any of those clubs that have occupancy levels that exceed 300 would be required to have at least one off-duty Orlando police officer present on site after midnight," said Thomas Chatmon of the Orlando Downtown Development Board.

Bars selling alcohol after midnight would also have to be 21-and-up.  Those under 21 would have to leave by 10 p.m.   Eddie Silva is part owner of seven different bars downtown and says the extra hour would boost sales, but he still has some concerns.
"What we are worried about is that it's already going to complicate thing for already in compliance venues like us, as long they don't include too many back door laws that complicate us,"
Residents like Danny Chen who live near the bars downtown don't mind the idea of extended hours.
"I feel like if people are smart about it and are responsible, then it's not really that big of a deal," Chen said.
Bars that violate the regulations would be allowed up to six violations per year.  A seventh violation would result in their license being revoked, after which they would have the option to appeal.

The new rules still have to be drafted along with being approved by the Orlando City Council.


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