House bill for Denver bars to stay open until 4:30 am shotdown


Posted Fri, Feb 21, 2014

Big K.R.I.T. performing for a packed house at Cervantes

Big K.R.I.T. performing for a packed house at Cervantes. [Photos by Antonio Valenzuela]

DENVER – Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, has introduced legislation to keep the city’s bars open later.

Originally slated to try to keep them open until 7 a.m. the actually legislation was cut to a 4:30 a.m. closing time.

House Bill 1132 passed the first legislative committee last week with the support of Duran who said to the committee, “This has been an issue that has been ongoing in the City of Denver for a long time.”

Duran insists told the committee that the level of violence is concentrated with a 2 a.m. bar closing time, affecting the job of Denver Police and the bar owners ability to control incidents.

Promoter Francois Baptiste of 3deep promotions said, “It just seems like common sense … places like New York and Miami have similar hours and we (promoters) don’t have to force people out at the same time.”

Addressing the nature and timing of the legislation, “Denver has been trying to be a big city for sometime. People come here to go skiing, we have some of the best clubs, theaters and of course marijuana. There just have been some small restrictions like the drinking time that have held the city back from getting to that bigger city status,” said Baptiste.


However people like Walter Mincer, 62 of Englewood says that the idea people will leave the bar periodically on their own is backwards thinking. “People are just going to stay later and drink longer if they push it back. Drinkers are already violent and brawl after the bar,” said Mincer, adding, “it’s going to be bad.”

Of course there are other negatives associated with the costs of bars staying open later, and the bill would allow for bars to decide if they want to stay open later or not.

Despite the costs, bar owners like Musa Bailey of Cold Crush echoed Baptiste’s sentiment, “I am for it one-hundred percent. Having lived in places like New York and London, I think Denver is becoming a metropolitan place and people are used to things staying open much later.”

Baptiste also referenced the added bar costs, “Bars should be able to choose, obviously not everyone will want to do it consider all the cost especially the added staff costs, power, lighting assistants and costs like that. It could get very expensive.”

Update: The bill was shot down last week in the House but supporters say the bill will be re-introduced after it has been re-written.



About Antonio Valenzuela

Antonio Valenzuela is a Denver-Area Freelance Writer who has been published hundreds of times with Westword, Kush Magazine, The Met, and many more. As a Denver area personality Ontoneyo has had a radio show on 93.7 and several online radio stations, been part of over 300 shows and is a fixture in the music community.

View all posts by Antonio Valenzuela

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