Council Gaffe Brings Extra Hour Of Drinking To City Bars
The City Council meant to adjust the holiday schedule for later hours, but instead passed an ordinance that allows bars to stay open until 3 a.m. three nights a week.
The City Council accidentally passed an ordinance last month that allows Hoboken's bars to stay open until 3 a.m. three nights a week, rather than two.
The ordinance was passed in a unanimous vote in early May. It permits bars to remain open until 3 a.m. on Friday mornings, as well as Saturday and Sunday morning.
The ordinance was meant to adjust the city's holiday calendar, which was outdated. Bars are allowed to stay open later on the eve of federal holidays.
While the first part of the ordinance updates the holiday schedule, the second part of the ordinance states that establishments with liquor licenses "shall impose a closing time of 3 a.m. in the morning on Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday and 2 a.m. in the morning on all other nights."
According to city spokesman Juan Melli, that was not the city's intent.
"It's going to be corrected," Melli said. A new ordinance will be proposed, likely at the next city council meeting, he added. Melli said that ordinances are drafted by the city's legal department.
If a new ordinance is introduced at the June 20 council meeting, the measure will need a second vote before it can be adopted. This means that bars can have an extra hour a week until at least the first week of July.
Councilman David Mello, who sponsored the new law together with Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino, explained that the ordinance was supposed to update an "incomplete list" of official holidays.
Mello, in a phone interview on Thursday, said it was his understanding that the ordinance adjusted the holiday schedule, not the closing times.
Giattino said the ordinance was meant to make sure that bars would be allowed to stay open late on holdiays. In the old version, some holidays were linked to specific dates and some holidays weren't included, she said.