California is undeniably awesome. From the glitz of Hollywood to the quirkiness of San Francisco; from the gnarly waves in Newport Beach to the perfect powder in Lake Tahoe; California truly has it all. Except for one glaring flaw. All bars in the state are required by law to close at 2 a.m. Anyone who lives in a city with 3 a.m., 4 a.m., or 5 a.m. last calls knows how much those extra hours mean. Hell, when guys in L.A. are closing out their tabs and calling Ubers, guys in NYC aren’t even drunk enough to approach girls yet. It’s the only blemish on an otherwise amazing state, and now it could be corrected.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
“The bill, which Democrat Scott Wiener plans to introduce Wednesday, would allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., pending appropriate permits and approval from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.”
“This bill is long overdue,” Wiener said. “Right now in California, we have a one-size-fits-all statewide mandate, regardless if you are a small-town suburb of San Francisco or in downtown L.A.”
As a native Californian who moved to Chicago a few years ago, I gotta say, this is a huge move for my home state. Huge. My group chat has been blowing up with excitement about this new bill all week, with reactions ranging from “2017 bout to be so popping,” to “RIP our livers.” And both of these sentiments are 100% correct.
Moving last call from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. is both amazing and an absolute shitshow. After moving to Chicago, I would estimate it took me about four months to be able to reliably make it until my new last call, and those four months were not pretty. I blacked out often. I blacked out hard. I was forcibly removed from bars. I was denied entry to bars. I got so drunk I left all three of my credit cards open under different tabs (it was a three-story bar), and had to borrow cash from my friends to last me the week until my bank mailed me new cards. In summation, I was a disaster. That’s what every Californian has to look forward to if this law passes.
Yes, there are people who are more responsible drinkers than I who will fare better. But it won’t be an easy transition. The human psyche is hinged on routine. If your brain is used to being hammered by 2 a.m., it doesn’t matter what the new last call is, it’s going to stick to what it knows. If this law passes, 2017 is “’bout to be so popping,” as my friend eloquently put it, but not before the West Coast goes through a rough transition period. People will pass out in Denny’s booths. Uber surge rates will through the roof as people drive aimlessly around, too drunk to remember their addresses. Downtown San Jose may well burn to the ground. And much like a Phoenix, the state will arise from ashes; better, stronger, and with a higher alcohol tolerance.
Pray for your bar staff, California. .
[via San Francisco Chronicle]
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