Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County approves 3 a.m. closing time for bars

Starting this weekend, bars throughout Pinellas County will have the option of extending their hours to 3 a.m.

The move was welcomed with applause at Tuesday's Pinellas County Commission meeting, where county bar owners spoke about the business they've lost ever since St. Petersburg extended its closing time to 3 a.m. in May.

"I'm jumping up and down, I'm so happy," said Loren Knuth, who runs the Boardwalk Tavern on 54th Avenue with his wife, Cheryl. Knuth came to commissioners in May frustrated because nearby bars in St. Petersburg could stay open later than his.

"We just wanted the option," Knuth said.

Knuth expects the extra hour will help, especially on weekends when he sees most of his traffic. "That's where we make our money."

Derek Junor, who owns Wild Willy's in Largo, estimates his bar can earn 20 percent more with the extra time. Most of his sales happen in the last two hours, he said.

Junor said he welcomed the later hour after years of watching customers leave his bar early. They used to leave Pinellas to go to Hillsborough County, but now they tell him they're headed to St. Petersburg.

"We want them to stay in our city," he said.

The new rule doesn't affect package sales, only businesses that serve alcohol.

The change will go into effect as soon as the ordinance is filed with the Department of State. The county staff estimated that could happen as early as Friday, but said that by Saturday bars should definitely be allowed to stay open later.

Most cities in the county told commissioners they were okay with extending the drinking hours. The Sheriff's Office gave the go-ahead as well.

Cities that want to keep closing time at 2 a.m. will have to pass ordinances of their own limiting the hours within their own jurisdictions. Several, including Belleair Bluffs, Indian Shores and Pinellas Park, indicated they planned to keep their hours as is.

Sara Gregory can be reached at sgregory@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8785.

Pinellas County approves 3 a.m. closing time for bars 07/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Analysis: Manchester attack was exactly what many had long feared

    World

    LONDON — For Britain's security agencies, London always seemed like the likely target. For years, the capital of 8 million with hundreds of thousands of weekly tourists and dozens of transit hubs had prepared for and feared a major terror attack.

  2. Dade City man dies after crashing into county bus, troopers say

    Public Safety

    ZEPHYRHILLS — A 38-year-old man died Tuesday after colliding into the rear of a county bus on U.S. 301, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  3. Suspicious device at Pinellas Park home was a spent artillery round, police say

    Public Safety

    PINELLAS PARK — Bomb squad investigators determined that a "suspicious device" found at a Pinellas Park home Tuesday afternoon was a spent artillery round, police said.

  4. NFL rewards Tampa Bay's track record, preparation with another Super Bowl

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay got lucky on Tuesday.

    We are getting a Super Bowl. We are getting a Super Bowl that we weren't supposed to get. We're getting a Super Bowl that we once were told we wouldn't get.

    Then came good luck.

     Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer (left) and son Edward Glazer celebrate the Bucs win and their upcoming trip to San Diego and the Super Bowl.  

[Bill Serne | Times]
  5. Baker fundraiser all about "Seamless City"

    Blogs

    Rick Baker kicked off a fundraiser Tuesday night at the Morean Arts Center making light of his 40-minute announcement speech two weeks ago on the steps of City Hall.

    Rick Baker speaks at a fundraiser at the Morean Arts Center Tuesday