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The Daily Tar Heel

Extra Time Lets Bars Stay Open

The time change gives local bars and clubs the opportunity to stay open and serve alcohol for an extra hour as well Saturday night.

N.C. state law prohibits establishments from selling alcoholic beverages after 2 a.m. But because daylight-saving time officially ends at 2 a.m. Sunday and clocks are turned back one hour, bars and night clubs technically have one more hour to serve drinks.

"It depends when the clocks get turned back," said Mike Shepherd, owner of Goodfellows. "We will be serving until 2 a.m. (after the clocks have changed) unless the law enforcement officials discourage it."

Shepherd said the question of whether bars are legally allowed to serve alcohol after the time change has been discussed at several Alcohol Law Enforcement meetings, but no clear-cut answers have been given.

Doyle Alley, director of permits for the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, said bars and clubs technically can serve alcohol once the clocks have changed back without breaking the law. "We abide by what has been determined to be the official time," he said. "If the clocks are moved back, that theoretically provides an additional hour (to serve alcohol)."

Jeff Tsipis, manager of BW-3, said he believes it makes sense to allow bars to serve alcohol for an extra hour, but he also said ALE officials have not made it clear whether bars should do so.

"They've brought (the issue of daylight-saving time) up at ALE meetings in the past, and it's never been clear on whether you're allowed to do that," he said.

But Tsipis said BW-3 would not remain open for the extra hour because it does not usually draw a late-night crowd.

While the time change gives bars and clubs the chance to keep serving, some bar owners said they would not remain open even though it was legal.

"There's just no reason to be open the extra hour," said Lloyd Rippe, owner of Bub O'Malleys. "I just don't feel that it is necessary. You're not losing an hour of business. You are open for the same amount of hours during the day."

Rippe said his understanding of daylight-saving time is that once the clock hits 2 a.m., bars are supposed to close. Because the ALE has not given a straightforward answer, he said he feels it is better just to close at the normal time and not take any chances.

But not everyone shares his opinion. Mark Burnett, manager of He's Not Here, said the bar will remain open if it is allowed. "If it's legal, by all means, come on and drink."

The City Editor can be reached


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