Mayor unveiling ‘Nightlife Initiative’ tonight – read it now

Tonight, Mayor McGinn will officially announce what’s being called the Seattle Nightlife Initiative. According to advance word from the mayor’s office, it has eight key points:

1. Code compliance enforcement
2. Flexible liquor service hours
3. Noise ordinance enforcement
4. Security training requirements
5. Precinct community outreach
6. Professional development
7. Late-night transportation alternatives
8. Targeting public nuisances

In advance of the announcement, the mayor’s office has put the details online – read them here. And the city plans to take comments through mid-September, including via an online survey you can access here.

21 Replies to "Mayor unveiling 'Nightlife Initiative' tonight - read it now"

  • Jiggers July 13, 2010 (5:52 pm)

    Flexible liquor service hours? I used to bartend back home in Hawai’i and we were open until 4am. My shift started at 10pm, got off at 4am had breakfast and went dawn patrolling when the sun came up. I miss those days dearly. Nobody went out in Honolulu until midnight. It’s still like that over there. When you work in the SIN industry, you don’t want to go straight home, you want to wind down and mingle with people you know at other places and have a few drinks. When I moved here 15 years ago, I wasn’t used to places shutting down early and everybody leaving at midnight or earlier. I never used to drink in the daytime until I moved here. I doubt that the small time thinkers here will allow later drinking hours.

  • Garden_nymph July 13, 2010 (6:41 pm)

    Under the current laws, last call and bar closing times allow drinkers the ability to get home, before rush hour starts. What a horrible idea to stay open longer or 24/7! What is the logic behind the idea that patrons drinking more for longer will be quieter and easier to disburse?! It is already difficult to get downtown at rush hour. Imagine what an alcohol induced accident could add. We don’t have the ability to deal with the influx of additional drivers on the road, especially drunk ones at rush hour! Parking lots would still be full of patrons at the bars instead of available to those starting their work days. This seems to be a bad idea and I think no good could come of it. I hate the idea of drunk drivers surging out of bars and being on the roads at the same time children are on school busses!
    We’re being told that unless we raise sales tax to 10%, we will lose police officers who investigate burglaries and narcotic officers. Now our mayor is proposing an idea to allow bars to stay open and serve alcohol all night long! Where’s my handbasket; I’m off to h*ll!

  • MousePotato July 13, 2010 (6:54 pm)

    What a ridiculous plan and an idiot that we have for a mayor…. Yeah, let’s shove drunk driving into the morning commute that is already hazardous enough. Even better, drunk drivers that have been up ALL night. Good thinkin’.

    I think a better plan would be to allow some clubs to stay open until 3 or 4 but keep the last call time the same. Let them sober up a bit, dance, listen to music, etc. before they hit the roads but DON’T keep letting them drink before launching them into rush hour.

    Yeah, these people will probably ride the bus home.


  • Jiggers July 13, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    Medusa’s Nightclub in Belltown used to do that before they got the axe by the City for a ton of citations. They called it after hours until 3am, but only served non-alcoholic drinks like Rockstar and whatever else and let the amateurs dance and sweat out that alcohol for an hour. But letting a place open and serve alcohol until the sun comes up would never happen here.

  • transplantella July 14, 2010 (1:09 am)


    In Seattle?

    Uh, where?

  • m in Seattle July 14, 2010 (5:41 am)

    “What is the logic behind the idea that patrons drinking more for longer will be quieter and easier to disburse?! It is already difficult to get downtown at rush hour. Imagine what an alcohol induced accident could add.”

    “What a ridiculous plan and an idiot that we have for a mayor”

    Agree with both….especially the “idiot” part. The notion that closing later would induce more “responsible” drinking is naive…and typical of this mayor who does not have a clue. Now we have to spend more tax-payer $$$$ to provide nocturnal transport for these boozed up patrons. Why not have the ferries run through the night just in case we need to get them to Bainbridge or Bremerton? Well…at least the mayor will be able to be served the whole night while he comes up with even crazier ideas….come to think of it…maybe that’s where he gets his ideas from?

  • Al July 14, 2010 (7:07 am)

    I think it’s a good idea or at least worth serious consideration. Later hours are allowed in countless cities around the world and there’s no evidence of the doomsday many here are predicting. And the argument that we will have more drunk drivers out when our children are going to school strikes me as sensational nonsense. We already allow bars to be open during school hours after all.

  • Meghan July 14, 2010 (7:31 am)

    I actually agree with the mayor on something! Wow! I think it’s a very good proposal. The vast majority of major cities around the world have much later (if any) closing times. Staggering the closures will stagger when people leave. So you won’t have hundreds (thousands on weekends) of people who have often been drinking all evening either drinking up as much as they can at 1:45am (a REALITY, by the way) or all out on the street at the same time. That’s when fights, assaults, and accidents are more likely to happen. I’ve lived in cities where the closing time was 4:00am or not at all and I can tell you, it’s much better because most people still leave at 2:00 or 3:00, so there’s not a mass drunken exodus at 2:00am!

  • JunctionMonkey July 14, 2010 (11:10 am)

    Many ball parks stop serving liquor after the seventh inning. Why not let the bars do the same per Mouse Potato. Stop serving liquor at (say) 2 AM, but dance, party, etc until closing time. BUT…if you leave the bar – you don’t get back in. This will discourage those that want to keep drinking and partying from doing the former out in the parking lot. Those who want to continue to drink have and will continue to drink whether the bar is open or not.

  • maplesyrup July 14, 2010 (11:28 am)

    It’s a much better idea to have people slam their last few drinks before 1:45, and then force them out into the streets all at once!

    Go nanny state!

  • jiggers July 14, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Bars don’t make money by serving rockstar or soda after hours unless you charge $6 for non-alcohol drinks. It costs them more labor wise to stay open for an extra hour or two which isn’t worth it. If you’re going to do this, do it right or don’t do it at all.

  • Louise July 14, 2010 (12:19 pm)

    I like the idea of serving alcohol until last call then staying open a few more hours. it will let the drunkers sober up before going home.

  • villagegreen July 14, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    Checkout the studies referenced in this article –

    Later bar times actually decrease the number of drunk driving accidents. Most major cities have more flexible hours. Jeez, even Indianapolis has a later bar time than Seattle.

    As usual, people’s fears are mostly based on false information or no information at all. Educating yourself about something before going off the hook about it would probably save you much stress.

  • Garden_nymph July 14, 2010 (6:59 pm)


    My Aunt was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. The steering column crushed her chest, her head crashed through the windshield and she bled out at the scene. My Grandmother was seated next to her; her nose, ribs and right knee were fractured. Her other injuries included her nose being sliced in half and gauging out her eye. My Grandmother was in a coma when they buried her only daughter. My teenage cousin and her best friend, in the back seat, were not seriously injured, but required years of therapy. My younger cousin was only 9 months old when she lost her mother to a drunk driver. I think my information is substantial! Our family knows FIRST HAND how bad a drunk driving accident can be. My fear is based on knowing the pain and loss an accident like this causes. I fear losing anyone else I love to such a stupid and careless act. By the way, did I mention the driver walked away from the accident without serious injuries!?

  • AM July 15, 2010 (8:59 am)

    unfortunately, no matter what time you close the bars, drunk driving will still happen. SOME people are idiots. SOME. I like this proposal and think it’s a great idea. I am sorry to hear about what happened to your family…

  • worf July 15, 2010 (11:06 am)

    The problems stem not so much from the 2:00 AM last call, but from the Liquor Control Board’s insane and draconian insistence that all alcohol sold in a bar be off the table by 2:00 AM. The Liquor Control Board’s strong enforcement of this rule ironically encourages people to order shots and doubles at last call and suck them down as quickly as possible while impatient servers, who are rightfully afraid of massive fines, try to round up all the glasses. If it was possible to order a drink up till 2:00 AM, and then relax with your drink until you finished in your own time, there would not be a mad rush of drunken people pouring into the streets at 1:45 AM, This problem is CAUSED by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. They should be held accountable. Actually, they should be disbanded.

  • aw July 15, 2010 (2:05 pm)

    I currently work in a bar and have to say that I am on the fence about this one. One one hand, it is always a mess around 1:45 with everyone ordering double shots and sucking down drinks before getting pushed out onto the streets. On the other hand, places like Vegas get away with 24 hour service through all night transportation and strict DUI laws. Also, it could be controlled by NOT over serving the people obviously intoxicated. In my opinion, the laws should definately be more relaxed and not be so ‘2am on the dot’ strict. Other cities and countries have later times and the world did not crash and burn. Sure the people that drunken driving has effected are against this, but it’s kind of a bias opinion. A drunk driving accident can happen at any time, so this subject really holds no ground. But all in all, it comes down to the fact that I really dont know if I wanna be at work so late..

  • Garden_nymph July 15, 2010 (10:08 pm)

    AW, your capacity for compassion is amazing! Great priorities, who cares about those who have had their families ripped apart by drunk drivers as long as YOU DON’T HAVE TO STAY AT WORK LATER!!!

    I guess the next round is on Mayor Mc-Gin!

    By the way, it’s already against the law to serve alcohol to someone who is already drunk.

  • Not Drunk ! July 15, 2010 (10:47 pm)

    Bars shut down @ 2 so the drunks are off the road by the time those who have jobs drive to work in the morning. I do not want to get hit by a drunk driver on my way to work.
    Do you ?
    If the ‘new’ McMayor and the council OK this I will impeach each and everyone of them.

  • worf July 16, 2010 (11:12 am)

    The proposal does nothing to push drunk driving into the commuting hours. That is a fallacious argument based on fear, nothing else. People do not get drunk only in bars – they get drunk at home, at house parties, in the parking lot at the 7-11, etc. They do not all stop drinking at 2:00 AM, either. What the Mayor is proposing is a relatively common sense approach to managing some of the externalities of living in a big city. Personally, I’m not sold on the staggered closing times, as I think it is unfair to allow some businesses to remain open while others are forced to close. I think it would make alot of sense to get the WSLCB to back off on it’s insistence that all glasses be off the table at 2:00, as this does encourage bad behavior, as I recall from being in my twenties and going to clubs. Maybe some of the holier than thou posters here don’t remember, or have very selective memories. Allowing patrons to finish drinks they legally ordered before 2:00 at their leisure would alleviate many of the problems currently associated with nightlife in neighborhoods where it is concentrated.
    The reactionary response of some here is unwarranted. I really am amazed at the vitriol commonly directed towards the mayor by those who supported his opponent. Really, calm down.

  • Adam Jenkins July 16, 2010 (4:14 pm)

    The proposed sound level of 80 dBC inside a residence is unacceptably high, it’s essentially a broad approval for all club owners to turn UP the volume, complaints and severe sleep disturbance occur FAR below 80 dBC.

    It’s disappointing to see that the Nightlife Advisory Board’s recommendations are being ignored by the Mayor, one of which being 80 dBC at 6 feet from the establishment, which is very reasonable and enforceable.

    Adam C. Jenkins
    Seattle, WA

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