Seaside Heights Considers Earlier Closing Time [AUDIO]
Several representatives from Seaside hotspots, including the Beachcomber, JR's, Hemingway's, and Bamboo, told the borough Wednesday night that they would support the idea.
Seaside Heights mayor Bill Akers said the decision was made partly in support of shifting the borough's image to a more family-oriented one.
"The majority of the liquor establishments that we have in town have some kind of food business with them," Akers said. "I think that's where we're going, a food business with the liquor."
The plan isn't official yet. However, Akers said they do plan on passing a formal ordinance.
He said the original 4 a.m. closing time was instituted when the borough had more bars, and was done as a measure to prevent several thousand people from filing out during a 2 a.m. closing time.
"Some customers didn't mix well with other customers," Akers said. "It was an issue, so we figured come out gradually, let them filter out, and it did work. But now we lost some of those businesses and we don't think that issue will happen."
Akers said an earlier closing time will be easier on the police force, who will not have to do extra patrols as late. Additionally, a uniform system is helpful to bar patrons as well.
"Sometime (a bar) would be closed at 2 a.m., then during the summer it would be 4, and then a party would be done at 3," Akers said. "I think this helps the customer base as well. It's a uniform closing time, 3 o'clock and it's done with as well."