Aldermen approve resolution to allow Square bars to stay open later

Oxford’s Board of Aldermen approved a resolution Tuesday evening that supports keeping bars in the historical district open later in order to avoid forcing all patrons out at the same time.

The resolution, which explains the difference between sale and consumption hours, does not extend the hours a bar can sell alcohol, but supports extending the hours a patron can consume alcohol at those bars.

This resolution comes as a response to the massive crowds that spill into the Square as bars close for the night, but it’s also supporting safer ways for residents to find their ways home.

During the meeting, Mayor Robyn Tannehill said she looks at the massive exodus of bar patrons around 1 a.m. as a public safety issue.

“We do think this will allow for more of a trickle out effect,” Tannehill said. “We look at the numbers that are pushed out into the street at the exact same time”

The Board discussed the difference between sale and consumption hours, which is simply the time a bar can sell alcohol and the time a patron can consume alcohol on the premises. Extending the consumption time allows for a patron to finish a drink they purchased before the sale hours ended instead of making them throw out the drink and leave.

It was brought up to change the consumption time from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., but those changes will be discussed and officially made into an ordinance change.

“What we’ve asked is that the sale hours stay what it is, we’re not asking to extend that sale hour,” Oxford Chief Operating Officer Bart Robinson said. “We’re asking that you be able to sit in that restaurant and continue drinking your drink that you purchased before 1 a.m., until at least 2 a.m. to allow maybe a more controlled exit from the restaurant.”

Mayor Tannehill said she mentioned the potential changes to the Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control, and the ABC was in support of the idea.

Tannehill also mentioned the extended consumption hours would help the taxi services around Oxford.

“We look at the numbers that are pushed out into the street at the exact same time, and we’ve heard from our taxis and Ubers that they get that one group they take home and when they get back, everyone’s gone because they all exit at the exact same time,” she said.

The resolution will be drafted into an official ordinance change at a later date.

Aldermen petition ABC to keep bars open later during Super Bowl

Along with resolving to support longer consumption hours, the Board of Alderman also approved to petition the ABC for longer hours on America’s biggest sports Sunday.

The Board will officially petition the Commissioner of the ABC to allow the extended sale of alcoholic beverage on February 4, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Original sale hours on a Sunday ranges from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. In order for the extension to become official, the ABC will have to approve the petition.

The Super Bowl will be played on February 3, and kick off is set at 5:30 p.m. central time. This year’s game will play in the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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