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City of Seattle

July 14, 1:50 PM click here to comment > 3

Plan to extend bar service hours announced today

After significant public outreach and community input, Mayor Mike McGinn today announced his proposal for changing state policy to allow cities to allow extended service hours for Seattle nightlife. The mayor transmitted a resolution to the City Council supporting a petition to the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) to allow for the creation of extended hours service areas within local jurisdictions. This effort is being proposed as part of Seattle’s comprehensive Nightlife Initiative, which aims to maintain public safety and provide businesses with greater flexibility to adapt to the market demands of residents and visitors.

“We’ve talked to the public, we’ve talked to businesses, we’ve talked to neighbors, and this is something the community wants us to do,” said Mayor Mike McGinn.

The resolution launches a two-step process to extend service hours:

1.    The Mayor’s proposal asks the LCB to build a regulatory framework to consider and approve petitions from cities to allow extended liquor service.

2.    If these proposed rule changes are adopted, Mayor McGinn can then work with the public and the City Council to craft a specific proposal for extended hours service in Seattle.

Seattle’s diverse lifestyle and economy, as well as conventioneers and visitors accustomed to more modern liquor laws, create demand for nightlife that extends beyond existing entertainment hours. This is evident in two recent polls, in which more than 75% of over 4,000 participants supported extended hours in Seattle. Despite market demand for later hours of entertainment and apparent cultural acceptance of the concept, Seattle venues are not currently allowed to accommodate socializing and entertainment after 2 a.m.

Police resources are often challenged at 2 a.m. when everyone leaves bars. Along with the other components of the Nightlife Initiative, this will help the City maintain public safety and deploy officers more effectively.

Across the country, at least 15 states allow local jurisdictions substantial authority to determine or extend hours of service based on market demand and regulatory capacity; and at least 18 jurisdictions have established liquor service hours later than 2 a.m. As a progressive and adaptable city, Seattle is well-suited to join these cities by adopting a more flexible urban policy that accommodates diverse lifestyles and entertainment choices.

Council will hear the resolution in committee on July 19th, with a full Council vote to follow soon afterward. The rule change application will be submitted to the LCB by August 31st. The LCB has 60 days to decide whether to initiate the rule making process,

Please visit to find out more about the mayor’s Nightlife Initiative and to review the substantial progress made on of all eight components.

Posted by: Words: April Thomas, Pictures: Jen Nance


Comment from Letitia Harmon
Time July 15, 2011 at 4:07 am

Not a bad idea, but will there be metro services to match? I doubt it. Bus service after 11 PM in Seattle is scarce. Those of us who would stay out later and take advantage of the late night scene are restricted from doing so for fear of not getting back home to the north end in time.

Comment from consuelo larrabee
Time July 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

So start calling “Time, gentlemen, please” at midnight & still close at 2:00 a.m. Morning commuters start at 4:00 a.m. Baaaad idea to mix the two.

Comment from Ike T
Time August 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Issue Combat Infantrymen’s Badges (C.I.B.’s) to anyone assigned to Belltown. Also watch out for zombies between the hours of 0200 to 0400.