Seattle's extended bar hours put on hold

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 29 at 8:01 PM

SEATTLE -- Don't count on that late-night cocktail in Seattle anytime soon.

Washington's Liquor Control Board is delaying a vote on extending bar hours in the city due to voter-approved liquor privatization.

The plan was for the board to vote in January on Seattle's request to stagger bar closing hours, but it's been put on hold because of the number of new liquor licenses that need to go out to retailers and distributors.

"The liquor board needs to deal with their number one priority now which is to transfer to privatize liquor sales," said Pete Hanning, President of Seattle's Nightlife and Music Association.

Seattle's mayor said he will continue pushing for extended hours as part of his nightlife initiative.

"We'll probably be here a year from now talking about where that is in the process," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "But we'll keep pushing on it."

McGinn said he wants to avoid a mass exodus of bar patrons onto downtown streets at 2:00 a.m., which often overwhelms police. Moving ahead with other parts of the initiative, McGinn unveiled five new taxi stands Tuesday, open in nighttime hot spots from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Seattle has also changed its parking meters to let people pre-pay for morning hours If they've been drinking and don't want to drive home at night.

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