New Jersey's Division of Alcohol Beverage Control ruled Friday to allow the bars of Point Pleasant Beach to remain open until 2 a.m., as opposed to the midnight curfew that was proposed by the council majority and mayor.
Point Pleasant Beach Rules in Favor of Later Bar Closing
The ruling allows bars in the popular Jersey Shore community to remain open until 2 a.m.
Bars in the Jersey shore town Point Pleasant Beach will have to close at midnight starting in July under an ordinance approved by the borough council. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Wednesday, May 16, 2012)
Updated at 7:54 PM EST on Friday, Jun 29, 2012
Marilou Halvorsen, a spokeswoman for Jenkinson's Boardwalk, told NBC 4 New York that the business' lawyer received the verbal approval from the state before 7 p.m.
"We are pleased, and hopefully this will give everybody the opportunity to move on, and work to communicate better," Halverson said.
The midnight closing law was passed by the council in May, but at the time, it said it intended to give the bars a way out by charging an extra fee in return for staying open later.
Jenkinson's Boardwalk and Martell's Tiki Bar called the extra fees "extortion" and asked the alcohol division to block implementation of the law until its director can fully assess the situation and issue a ruling.
New Jersey's ABC said Friday they have "been asked to rule on the legality of the ordinance and legal proceedings" on the council's rule, and will begin legal proceedings "in due course."
Discussions surrounding the last-call compromise collapsed earlier in June, as the borough and boardwalk bars tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a deal to help pay for added patrols to cut down on neighborhood disturbances. The bars had offered $800,000 over five years.
It was unclear Friday if the bars will continue their offer to pay for additional security.
Mayor Vincent Barrella and several council members cited bad behavior by bar patrons -- including public urination and defecation -- as the reason for implementing the earlier curfew. But many residents defended the bars, citing the town's reputation as a tourist destination and the financial benefit to staying open past midnight.
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