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December 27, 2010

Explainer: How come Baltimore bars can stay open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve?

Thank the state legislature, says Stephan Fogleman, chairman of the Baltimore Liquor Board. File this under 'fun facts,' or 'random trivia': It was state legislators that signed a law allowing bars in Baltimore, and only here, to stay open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve. The liquor board has been honoring the law, it seems, "forever." "It's been around for as long as the liquor board has been around. At least 70 years," Fogleman says. "We don't want to mess with tradition."

New Year's Eve is the only time of the year when extended hours are permitted, and the exemption only applies to bars that have six- or seven-day 2 a.m. liquor licenses. Thanks to the exemption, bars can open their doors on December 31 and not close until 2 a.m. January 2. So far, few Baltimoreans have complained about the extended hours. Says Fogleman,"It's one of the quietest times of the year in terms of complaints. Maybe residents expect there will be more fun, or maybe it's because people can go home when they want to."

Earlier: bars that are staying open past 2 a.m. this year.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 2:57 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: New Year's Eve 2010


I have often said, when you give people a goal, they usually try to meet it. For example, on Friday, people will say to themselves that they need to be drunk by midnight, so they do that, and late night, most of these people are a drunken mess.

On the normal night in Baltimore, you tell people that they have to leave the party at 2:00am, so then their goal is to be drunk by the time that they go home.

Imagine if people were just allowed to go home when they are tired. You'd lessen the 2:00am cattle call of drunk drivers up 83 and up and down 95, you'd lessen the fights at 2:00am because muscle crazed db's power drank from 12:30-1:30, and guess what, those service industry people that could come in from 1:00am on from various places that do close, could have a little bit of a night-time social life.

I hope that they never take this law off the books. It is nice to enjoy a quiet dinner, watch some fireworks, take a 3 or 4 hour snooze and roll into Mum's around 4am for a shot of Evil to ring in the New Year.

NYE is Amateur Night.

New Year's Eve is something to celebrate, that's the only reason I can say, it's a once in a year celebration, so they take advantage of it. Just know your responsibility once you're drunk which I doubt...

I remember when I worked in the restaurant biz that we called NYE the night of White Zin and Coors Light!

If you are off Friday like I am I highly suggest going out Thursday night, get just as rowdy and deal with a quarter of the idiots.

+More recovery time before the ravens game on Sunday

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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