New Hampshire House passes bill extending last call to 2 a.m.

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House Bill 1227 would also allow cities and towns to extend closing time until up to 3 a.m. by passing an ordinance or warrant article.

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CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire House passed a bill March 28 that would extend the default time for bars and restaurants to stop serving alcohol from 1 to 2 a.m.

House Bill 1227 would also allow cities and towns to extend that closing time until up to 3 a.m. by passing an ordinance or warrant article. Currently, municipalities may do so only until 2 a.m., a power the Legislature approved in 2013.

In a report to the Legislature advocating for the bill, Rep. Jared Sullivan, a Bethlehem Democrat, argued that extending the hours would not lead to a rise in crime or other issues, and noted that two of New Hampshire’s neighboring states, Vermont and Massachusetts, already allow establishments to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.

“… As New Hampshire works to attract and retain young people, nightlife in our cities and towns is one of the considerations for potential new residents of our state,” Sullivan wrote.

Rep. Jessica Grill, a Manchester Democrat and the sponsor of the legislation, said the bill would allow cities and towns to choose to extend the closing time for special events, such as New Year’s Eve. Laconia currently extends serving hours to 2 a.m. during its annual Motorcycle Week in summer.

“Essentially, this bill is about choice,” Grill said. “It will expand commerce for businesses statewide while giving cities more options to meet the needs of their residents.”


This story was republished with permission under New Hampshire Bulletin’s Creative Commons License.


 

About this Author

Ethan DeWitt

ReporterNH Bulletin

Ethan DeWitt is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s education reporter. Previously, he worked as the New Hampshire State House reporter for the Concord Monitor, covering the state, the Legislature, and the New Hampshire presidential primary. A Westmoreland native, Ethan started his career as the politics and health care reporter at the Keene Sentinel. Ethan DeWitt is a reporter for New Hampshire Bulletin.

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