In his ongoing quest to let bars in CA cities stay open past 2 a.m., State Senator Scott Wiener has compromised on a new possible bedtime: 3 a.m., rather than a previously proposed 4 a.m.
Wiener, once the SF supervisor for the Castro district, has been pushing for similar legislation since 2016 in an effort to bolster nightlife businesses. He came incredibly close to achieving the change in 2018, receiving approval from state legislators — only to be vetoed by outgoing Governor Jerry Brown.
“[We] have enough mischief from midnight to 2,” Brown wrote at the time. But with a new governor in charge — nightlife industry veteran Gavin Newsom, who once co-owned Marina institution the Balboa Cafe — the odds could be in Wiener’s favor.
The latest version of the bill, SB58, currently awaits a vote in the CA State Assembly. It would allow, but not require, certain California cities — LA, SF, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, West Hollywood, Fresno, Palm Springs, Coachella, and Cathedral City — to extend last call on a local basis. The bill proposes a five-year pilot program for these cities, not a permanent switch.
“While we were hoping for 4 a.m., 3 am is certainly better than 2 a.m. and gives cities flexibility in crafting the nightlife that works for them,” Senator Wiener said. “This will be the first extension of California nightlife in over 100 years. It’s something to celebrate.”