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Downtown Drinking Hours Stay the Same- For Now

August 27th, 2013 | WMFE- Orlando city commissioners have delayed a plan to extend drinking hours in downtown bars. The ordinance would have allowed bars downtown to stay open until 3am, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The plan would have also banned 18, 19 and 20 year olds from bars after 10 pm.

Some bar owners support the measure- but at a hearing yesterday many spoke out against it.

Steve Sullivan owns Cowboys on South Orange Blossom Trail, just outside the ordinance area.

He told commissioners it gives city bar owners an unfair advantage- and it’s unsafe.

“You’re going to have a bunch of power drinkers down there two to three am in the morning, and you’re going to have more trouble than you’ve ever had before, and all these limitations you’re applying are going to have very little effect any more.”

Other bar owners in the downtown core said the new rules could drive them out of business.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said that was never the aim of the ordinance.

“The overriding tenet is we want to make downtown safer in the evening, and we want to broaden the offerings of what is in our downtown beyond something that is just for 18 to 22 year olds.”

Dyer asked for public input to help improve the plan. City commissioners will revisit the plan in 90 days. 


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