Atlanta City Council votes against extending bar hours

By David Pendered

The Atlanta City Council has again rejected a proposal to extend the drinking hours at bars in the city.

The vote clears the way for an effort to tighten the city’s alcohol ordinances. The goal of that legislation is to make it easier for Atlanta to close businesses that habitually violate the city’s alcohol codes and escape closure through legal loopholes.

The council has considered extending bar hours periodically since 2003, when the hours were shortened following several years of violent outbursts that were linked to late-night drinking.

Meeting Tuesday, following the holiday on July 4, the council voted 9-1 to kill a measure that would have allowed alcohol to be served in bars and restaurants until 4 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays and until 2:55 a.m. on Saturdays.

Councilman Kwanza Hall, who proposed the longer hours and was the lone signature on the legislation, voted to kill it.

The only vote in favor of not rejecting the proposal was Councilman Ivory Lee Young, Jr.

Here’s the roll call on the vote:

To kill the proposal:

Michael J. Bond;

Keisha Bottoms;

Kwanza Hall;

C.T. Martin;

Felicia Moore;

Joyce Sheperd;

Howard Shook;

Carla Smith;

Alex Wan.

 

To not kill the proposal:

Ivory Lee Young, Jr.

 

Not voting:

Natalyn Archibong;

Aaron Watson;

Cleta Winslow.

 

Excused absence:

Yolanda Adrien;

H. Lamar Willis.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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