He Said, She Said: CW Nevius And Donna Sachet Square Off Over Booze Until 4 AM Proposal

When State Senator Mark Leno proposed Senate Bill 635, which would let certain California businesses provide beverage service until 4 a.m., the response was immediate, both for and against. Now two local personalities are squaring off over the proposal, one worried that extending last call from 2 to 4 AM could increase assaults, the other saying that a later last call is just what this city needs to have a “dynamic social scene.”

When Leon’s proposal was announced, Mayor Ed Lee reacted with worry, saying “We have to think very carefully about that…Some would suggest that alcohol at certain hours is not the best thing combined with traffic.”

Presumably, this alcohol and traffic combination is being dealt with in the at least nine states and more than two dozen cities, including New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and New Orleans, that also have extended closing times.

“Many cities in California have dynamic social activities that are vital to their economies, but they lack the flexibility to expand their businesses,” Leno said in a statement.

Leno said the legislation would allow cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego “to start local conversations about the possibility of expanding nightlife and the benefits it could provide the community by boosting jobs, tourism and local tax revenue.”

The bill would allow jurisdictions to submit a local plan to the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to extend alcohol serving hours up to 4 a.m. The extension would only apply to on-sale establishments like restaurants, not off-sale ones like liquor stores.

The legislation is supported by the California Restaurant Association, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and the California Music and Culture Association.

At least one Op-Ed columnist agrees with those supporters: Drag personality Donna Sachet, writing for the Chron, describes the proposal as “a refreshing breath of fresh air.”

“This is an idea whose time has come” Sachet writes. “Let’s offer urban California environments and urban people a more diverse, vibrant night life while benefiting from increased tourism, tax revenue, and jobs.”

Writing for the same publication, columnist CW Nevius takes the opposite stance, saying the proposal “sounds like a prescription for problems to me.”

“Imagine the 4 a.m. crowd rolling out of the bar down the street from your apartment,” Nevius cautions, citing a European study that “found that for each hour of extended closing hours, assaults increased 16 percent.”

Where do you fall on the issue? Are you Team Chuck or Team Donna?


the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • culture_drone

    Why doesn’t CW Nevius just move out of the city already?

  • culture_drone

    Why doesn’t CW Nevius just move out of the city already?

  • CharmingEd

    Ed Lee is a mealy mouthed stooge installed by voter fraud.
    C.W. Nevius can be counted on to carry water for SF’s fascist Police Officer’s Association and billionaires alike. Plenty of other cities already allow late drinking or 24 hour drinking. Neither Nevius nor any other scum that wants to dictate the behavior of their neighbors has come up with a shred of evidence that this law will do any damage to our fair city.
    San Francisco is a place of freedom and tolerance, and if C.W. Nevius doesn’t like it he should move back to Walnut Creek.

  • CharmingEd

    Ed Lee is a mealy mouthed stooge installed by voter fraud.
    C.W. Nevius can be counted on to carry water for SF’s fascist Police Officer’s Association and billionaires alike. Plenty of other cities already allow late drinking or 24 hour drinking. Neither Nevius nor any other scum that wants to dictate the behavior of their neighbors has come up with a shred of evidence that this law will do any damage to our fair city.
    San Francisco is a place of freedom and tolerance, and if C.W. Nevius doesn’t like it he should move back to Walnut Creek.

  • Team Donna. All the time.

    • RoyMcKenzie

      agreed

    • LibertyHiller

      So much this.

  • Team Donna. All the time.

    • RoyMcKenzie

      agreed

    • LibertyHiller

      So much this.

  • Bob Bardell

    CharmingEd certainly fails to exemplify San Francisco’s famed “tolerance” when he calls C. W. Nevius “scum” for opposing Mark Leno’s ill-considered proposal to advance California bar closing time to 4 AM. CharmingEd fails to grasp a basic principle of our collective lives. We all have to get along with each other. CharmingEd apparently thinks it’s his right to blast out loud music in the wee hours or stand on any residential street screaming at the top of his lungs after a night of drinking. This is an infantile view of basic human rights. As for evidence that 4 AM bar closing would damage the rights San Franciscans to the quiet enjoyment of their homes, I can produce a long roster of residents whose lives (and property) are already disrupted by late night drunken behavior. The last thing they need is two more hours of drinking by the loutish clowns who seem to be the primary post-11 PM patrons of our city’s drinking establishments. In closing, let offer a bit of advice to CharmingEd and culture_drone: resist the temptation to say “if you don’t like _______ (fill in whatever you want) leave the city.” Not only does this undermine whatever points you have to make, if any, it invites the obvious riposte, “No, you leave. Las Vegas awaits you with open arms.”

  • Bob Bardell

    CharmingEd certainly fails to exemplify San Francisco’s famed “tolerance” when he calls C. W. Nevius “scum” for opposing Mark Leno’s ill-considered proposal to advance California bar closing time to 4 AM. CharmingEd fails to grasp a basic principle of our collective lives. We all have to get along with each other. CharmingEd apparently thinks it’s his right to blast out loud music in the wee hours or stand on any residential street screaming at the top of his lungs after a night of drinking. This is an infantile view of basic human rights. As for evidence that 4 AM bar closing would damage the rights San Franciscans to the quiet enjoyment of their homes, I can produce a long roster of residents whose lives (and property) are already disrupted by late night drunken behavior. The last thing they need is two more hours of drinking by the loutish clowns who seem to be the primary post-11 PM patrons of our city’s drinking establishments. In closing, let offer a bit of advice to CharmingEd and culture_drone: resist the temptation to say “if you don’t like _______ (fill in whatever you want) leave the city.” Not only does this undermine whatever points you have to make, if any, it invites the obvious riposte, “No, you leave. Las Vegas awaits you with open arms.”

  • Ken Cleaveland

    Yep, as much as I like CW Nevius, I must side with Team Donna Sachet on this issue. In fact, I really don’t see a reason to have a “last call” law at all. New Orleans does just fine being a “24 hour city” and California’s cities should have the right to vote todo the same.

  • Ken Cleaveland

    Yep, as much as I like CW Nevius, I must side with Team Donna Sachet on this issue. In fact, I really don’t see a reason to have a “last call” law at all. New Orleans does just fine being a “24 hour city” and California’s cities should have the right to vote todo the same.