Last night, the fight between Point Pleasant Beach bars and the borough council went full throttle dysfunctional. Last month, they were set to pass two ordinances. The first, ordering all bars to stop serving alcohol by midnight. That one they passed. The second, allowing the bars to bypass the first ordinance and serve until their normal closing time as long as they paid an exorbitant fee based on per person occupancy to the township with the money being earmarked towards extra police patrols to combat drunken rowdy behavior in the streets. There were questions surrounding the legality of such an ordinance, so they stalled on it until last night. By last night, the fight got so ugly that the council lost the courage of their original conviction and they voted the measure down. Meaning, now they’ve put themselves in the worst of all possible scenarios. As it stands, the bars have to close at midnight with no means by which they can stay open. The bars in Point Pleasant Beach are the life blood of the town. The biggest tax ratable there in fact is Jenkinson’s. They’re also the largest employer in Point Pleasant Beach. The last couple of hours after midnight is when bars are busiest and make the most money. Point Pleasant Beach has shot itself in the foot. If this stands, jobs will inevitably be lost and so will the town’s revenue. Now, the bars are appealing to the state’s liquor control board for some relief from the midnight closure but the success of that move is anyone’s guess.

To order bars to close at midnight in a shore town is like telling a restaurant they have to close during the lunch rush, or telling reception halls they can’t rent for June and September weddings.