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Hermosa Beach Residents Speak Out On Earlier Bar Hours

Michael Nystrom, Elisabeth Roberts, Astrid Solorzano |
November 5, 2013 | 3:05 p.m. PST

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 Hermosa Beach residents voted Tuesday on a measure that could mean earlier "last calls" for the city's social scene.

According to Measure B, restaurants, bars and retail shops will be required to close by midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 1:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday in an attempt to cut down on crime and alcohol-related problems. The changes would begin in April over a five-year period.

Business owners within the Hermosa area strongly oppose the shortened hours and argue Measure B will impact both businesses and the city.
For local residents, however, this proposal can bring peace and quiet to the surrounding neighborhoods.
The bill's author, Jim Lissner, is a resident of Hermosa Beach and says that the hours after midnight "are destructive" at many local bars. Lissner says the purpose of the bill is to discourage public intoxication and potential violence, which has been a recent issue for the city.
Listen to Lissner's reasoning in an ARN radio piece
“What affects us, affects the city and it’s not cut and dry, it’s a big circle,” said Fred Hahn, owner of Patrick Molloy’s, a bar and grill in Hermosa.  “[Measure B] affects the businesses, that’s first.  Number two, it’ll affect the city because the revenue isn’t coming in anymore.”

Most of Patrick Molloy’s business arrives around 10:30 at night and is composed mostly of young people. 

“If you close at 12 or 1 o’clock, customers won’t even come to your place because they’re just getting started so it’s a lot of revenue missed,” said Hahn. “Depending on how many people leave, that’ll eventually affect the revenue of other businesses around you, other than bars or restaurants.”

Many restaurants pay to use city amenities and pay taxes on the food and alcohol they sell.  

“We pay $26,000 a year for our patio and if less people come down, then we won’t need the patios anymore,” said Hahn.  “And if less people come down, then all of a sudden your parking meters aren’t making any money, so it’ll go right down the list to where it’ll affect the city and it’ll affect us too.”

The Underground Pub and Grill, a restaurant in Hermosa open since 1982, would also be affected by the ordinance.

“We don’t feel good about it at all because we’re losing prime hours and I don’t really think that it’ll fix the problem,” said Nicole Russ, a bartender and waitress at the Underground Pub and Grill.  “People will instead go to house parties or other parties on the beach, it’s not going to be that tricky.”

Similar to Patrick Molloy’s situation, the Underground Pub and Grill is expecting to lose business if the ordinance is passed.  

“We’re going to lose an insanely large monitory value, and think about all the bars combined, and we pay taxes that the city is going to lose,” said Russ. “We monitor our capacity, but depending on the time and day we could lose a very large crowd.”



This story was produced by Annenberg's three daily media outlets, ARN, ATVN and Neon Tommy, and Strategic Public Relations Studies students conducting up-to-the-minute social media analysis.



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