Cities Journal

14 Restrictions That Damage Nightlife

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Photo credit: Newtown grafitti / Flickr

2. Freezes on New Liquor Licenses

When a county or city puts a freeze on new liquor licenses it can cripple establishments that are just starting out. The liquor license is the crux of a night club and without it, the club falls. Yet these restrictions are put out at random times with no apparent rhyme or reason.

Randy Durnal explained this in his article on the Nightclub &Bar website. If there was a legitimate concern that would warrant freezing new liquor licenses that may be understandable. However, the majority of the time there is no apparent reason. Key players just want to exert their power and stop new clubs from opening.

Sometimes the liquor license freeze is just a stall tactic to buy some time. Law makers can implement the freeze, essentially paralyzing the night club. Then they can push through zoning regulations and other laws. Many of these regulations are used to force the club owner out of a certain area and into another, essentially herding them to where the county wants them to go.

Oh the other hand, elected officials will assert that the freeze is to curb alcohol related crime. That is the case in Melbourne, Australia where officials are proposing laws similar to those recently adopted by Sydney. On Music Feeds, an article explains the city’s position and the lockout laws that include the extension of an already present freeze on new late night liquor licenses.

New liquor license freezes can last a day or several months. This ploy is one of the most destructive restrictions that damage nightlife. And that is what they are supposed to do. Officials will call for a freeze when a night club is considering moving into an area where it is not wanted in hopes that the owner will become discouraged and move their club elsewhere.

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