Charleston considers midnight bar closings - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Charleston considers midnight bar closings

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Charleston Mayor Joe Riley says the city needs to require some bars to close earlier or other businesses will refuse to locate nearby.

Most of those testifying at a public hearing Thursday opposed plans to require new downtown bars to close at midnight. They say having two closing times will be confusing. Existing bars now must close by 2 a.m.

Chuck Lauer with the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association says it would be unfair to require new establishments to close at midnight while existing bars remain open until 2 a.m..

The ordinance also would prohibit many businesses in the downtown area from operating between midnight and 6 a.m. if they sell alcohol.

Riley says he's worried that too many businesses that sell alcohol are concentrated in the area.

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