Boca Bans Late Night Alcohol Sales

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Staff report

Last call is 2 a.m. in all of Boca Raton.

Two bars that were allowed to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. will have a few months to comply with a new city rule that bans the sale of alcohol between 2 and 7 a.m.

Two bars, Blue Martini and Nippers, were permitted to serve alcohol until 5 a.m. because they were annexed into the city in 2003. When they were annexed, the county rules followed the bars allowing them to serve alcohol until 5 a.m.

But Boca council members and residents agreed 2 a.m. was late enough to serve alcohol in the city.

Neighbors of Blue Martini said they are not able to sleep at night because they hear pounding music. They said they have been made promises for noise abatement in the past, but it never lasts.

“It’s inexcusable that these neighbors have had to live in these condition for this long,” Councilman Robert Weinroth said.

Nippers seems to be less of the problem when it comes to noise due to its location, but it was still impacted by the rule change. Councilman Jeremy Rodgers proposed delaying the implementation for Nippers, but he didn’t receive any support for his idea.

Police Chief Dan Alexander said he supports moving the alcohol hours up to 2 a.m. to help with public safety. He brought 21 pages of police reports that logged incidences at the locations.

The restaurant staff said the change would impact the businesses financially. They offered to engage more police detail and help with noise abatement. Lawyers asked for an 18 month delay on the rule change, but that was denied.

Councilman Scott Singer said the rule change will enhance resident’s quality of life and safety.

“This is just an issue that isn’t going to go away,” Mayor Susan Haynie said of the noise before the council changed the rules.