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Task force proposes steps to wake up the City that Always Sleeps, at least a little bit

A task force assembled by the mayor says Boston nightlife would be improved by letting downtown restaurants and bars keep serving alcohol past the current state-mandated limit of 2 a.m. - and by letting people on outdoor patios order drinks without having to get food to go with them.

The move to extend the latest possible closing time in a "designated downtown area" would require approval by the state legislature.

The Late Night Task Force, "comprised of a diverse group of students, restaurants and bar owners, law enforcement and business leaders from across the city," also called for letting restaurants with 10 or 11 p.m. closing times across the city seek hearings to extend those times to midnight, at least for food - even though that is already something they can request.

"I look forward to further exploring these recommendations to make Boston even more enjoyable for everyone," Walsh said in a statement.

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Great. Their first order of business should be to keep the T running past the pathetically early hour it would shut down if they cancel late night service.

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These two things aren't unrelated. The proposed changes would certainly result in an increase in late-night ridership, but it's rather chicken and egg.

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How does the city dictate the hours of the MBTA?

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well, if you want to ask that, one should point out the city also doesn't the ability to allow bars to stay open after 2 AM. So, both of these things are under state control.

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Wasn't there a task force working on this last year? And the year before?

I can save them a lot of time. Allow adults to consume adult beverages in the same manner as they can just about anywhere else in the world. Patios? Not a threat. Happy hour? Good for morale. Restaurants? Let them serve drinks. Lighten up, Francis.

And remove the MBTA's late-night service from the chopping block. Walsh, get your restaurants and bars together and get it funded.

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Wasn't there a task force working on this last year? And the year before?

They have been put in the circular file.

I'm pretty sure I could hear City hall and the Beacon Hill laughing at this report and my office is a mile away.

This is a governor who just gave every town EXCEPT Boston the right to have any number of liquor licenses they want. Everyone with real power would be just as happy to make Boston's last call at midnight and shut the T down at 9pm. The top brass at GE aren't asking for things to be open late.

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I'm so glad GE decided to move to Boston. Virtually overnight it gave all the angry-but-I-don't-know-where-to-direct-my-anger people around here a singular target to focus their wailing and gnashing of teeth at.

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"letting people on outdoor patios order drinks without having to get food to go with them."

That's a really bad idea and residential areas will fight it tooth and nail.

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Have you ever left Boston? This is a non-issue in every other city. Hell, even Brookline allows outdoor patio bars. (Just as long as the patrons don't bring leaf blowers.)

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Is that a new law? I tried to order drinks on the patio at a restaurant on Beacon Street a couple years ago and they told us that we had to order food if we were ordering drinks outside according to Brookline law.

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...At a place that has since closed. I've also gotten just drinks in Western MA but past 495 and you might as well be in another state. (A good state, I might add.)

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When the waiter offers menus, tell them we are waiting for a 3rd or 4th. I can usually get away with this for quite a while and then tell them our friend cancelled.

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having to get some chips and salsa to go along with my copious amounts of alcohol has really changed how intoxicated i get

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On the horizon!

What is that!

A BEER GARDEN ?!?!?!?!

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES

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Put up or shut up.

Why is it a "really bad idea"? Nothing about it changes the rules for overserving.

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The move to extend the latest possible closing time in a "designated downtown area" would require approval by the state legislature.

Jesus Christ, what a joke.

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Translation: Combat Zone

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Is that a thing? You can't drink outside w/o food? I know we have a lot of goofy regulations on the books, but really...?

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Or at least it isn't enforced. Source: all the post-work patio imbibing I usually do during the spring/summer months.

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But seems to be enforced more by the restaurants than govt.
I hate it b/c sometimes you just want a couple quick drinks after work.

And let's be honest. People drinking (heavily?) in big groups are going to be loud regardless of amount of food ordered.

This will be a welcome change.

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it's actually quite ridiculous. We used to go to Audobon on Beacon Street (other side of the Pike from BU) and they would never let us get just drinks at their outdoor patio that is enclosed fully by a 10 foot privacy fence and bamboo, and cannot be accessed without walking through the main restaurant floor.

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I've ordered drinks outside without ordering food at several places on the waterfront side of Atlantic Ave. without any issues. There are outdoor bars -- I sat there and ordered a drink and no food. No problem.

If a restaurant has a has small outdoor space, I can't see how it would be in a their best interest to allow people to occupy a table for just a beer or two without ordering food... especially with high demand for outdoor tables, which there almost always is during the spring, summer and fall.

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Late Night Task Force

1. Kareem Agha, Account Executive, Bullhorn
2. Sidney Baptista, Senior Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers
3. Duncan Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Newbury Comics
4. Lauren Campbell, Student, UMass Boston

5. Brian Carthas, Associate, Openview Ventures
6. Jamie Chisholm, Vice President, Resolute Consulting LLC
7. Teresa Coffey-Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer Millennium Partners Sports Club Management LLC

8. David Colella, General Manager, Colonnade Hotel

9. Co-Chair Rory Cuddyer, Special Assistant to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff
10. Brian Davis, District Sales Manager, EMC Corporation
11. Russ deMariano, Owner, Goodcheer Enterprises, Redbrook Restaurant Group
12. Jim Doolin, Chief Development Officer, Massport

13. Carol Downs, Co-owner and General Manager, Bella Luna Restaurant & The Milky Way Lounge

14. Edrie Edrie, Accordionist, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys
15. Dean Kenneth Elmore, Dean of Students, Boston University
16. Co-Chair John Fitzgerald, Senior Project Manager at the Boston Redevelopment Authority,

17. Kelly Gifford, Director of External Relations, ICA
18. Bill Lee, Owner, Hong Kong Restaurant
19. Bob Luz, President/CEO, Massachusetts Restaurant Association
20. Meg Mainzer-Cohen, President and Executive Director, Back Bay Association

21. Marvin McMoore, Student, Northeastern University
22. Jorge Mendoza, Co-owner and Chef, Vinoteca di Monica
23. Police Sergeant (Det.) Robert Mulvey, Boston Police Department
24. Vincent Petryk, Owner, JP Licks

25. Chloe Ryan, Manager, ONEin3 Program
26. Kate Ziegler, Co-Director, Hollaback! Boston

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