Mayor comes to Capitol Hill next week after nightlife initiative push

late night smokers, originally uploaded by a_ahlstrom.

A year and one day after the effort was first outlined in an event held at the Century Ballroom, Mayor Mike McGinn has renewed the effort to complete another plank of the Seattle Nightlife Initiative by lobbying the state to extend the hours liquor can be served and put an end to the “last call.” More on the push for extended liquor hours and the mayor’s upcoming Capitol HIll town hall, below. 

In his Thursday announcement, McGinn said, “What we do know is this: The 2 a.m. closing time, the pushout, is a serious public safety issue,” the Seattle Time recounted in a report putting SPD on record as also in support of the effort:

The streets would be safer if bars were allowed to stay open later, Assistant Seattle Police Chief Mike Sanford said Thursday.

Along with police department support, Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposal to work toward extended bar hours has the backing of Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and at least some of the Seattle City Council.

The council will take up a resolution Tuesday, and all three members of the council’s Public Safety Committee appeared alongside McGinn at a Thursday announcement.

The framework the city is pushing with the state would give qualifying Seattle bars the opportunity to stay open between the hours of 2 and 6a meaning some could choose to operate 24 hours per day.

(Image: City of Seattle)

Publicola points out that the initiative would also produce about $3 million annually in tax revenue in addition to the public safety improvements.

KUOW talked to Dave Meinert, a partner behind Big Mario’s (CHS advertiser), the 5 Point and the Capitol Hill Block Party, and a few others local “experts” including me about the plan.

The renewed push for extended liquor service hours is part of a list of eight goals McGinn outlined when the initiative was launched in 2010.

Some aspects are already in place or are being planned such as the “meathead” ordinance and early-morning paid parking options designed to make it easier for people to leave their cars in nightlife areas overnight.

McGinn will be on the Hill next week for the Capitol HIll edition of the string of town halls the mayor has been organizing across the city. While the nightlife initiative has probably some of its biggest support in the city on Capitol Hill, it will be interesting to hear what questions the crowd that shows up on 16th Ave next Wednesday night will have for the mayor.

As part of the Engage Seattle initiative this year, in order to ensure that as many people as possible who live, work, or play in Seattle are able to voice their concerns and offer their feedback directly to the mayor, we’re holding a series oftown halls and other outreach events in every part of the city. 

It’s my great pleasure now to invite you to join Mayor McGinn for a Neighborhood Town Hall at Group Health’s Central Hospital. You can download a flier here, or the details are as follows:

Group Health Central Hospital
 Main Building, Conference room 624-630

201 16th Ave East
Wednesday, July 20th
5:00 – 6:00 pm

Group Health is located near the 8, 10, and 43 bus lines; for full transit directions, go to

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4 thoughts on “Mayor comes to Capitol Hill next week after nightlife initiative push

  1. Flexible bar closing times might not be a bad idea if Cap Hill bar patrons were not such inconsiderate douchebags. I live a block away from a bar in a residential neighborhood (the Lookout). Every night — and I mean EVERY NIGHT — at closing time, my neighbors and I are treated to high-volume hootin’ and hollerin’ by patrons returning to their cars.

    This kind of thoughtless behavior is bad enough when it’s (more or less) confined to 2 AM. Please don’t let these loudmouth clowns stay out any later. Some of us have jobs in the morning and need to get some sleep.

    It’s only fair to note that the new ownership of the Lookout are clearly trying hard to minimize noise during business hours. They are closing the back patio at ten and keeping the smokers quiet out front, at least most of the time. Noise from the bar is significantly reduced since Karen and Mike took over.

  2. Interesting idea, we should base all of seattles regulations on those whom knowingly moved next to bars.

    I am for later hours 100%.

  3. How do you contain this idea? If the Liquor Board says yes to Seattle, they say yes to the entire state…. this is a very big change for this state.

    And it seems the state can’t play favorites, business is business after all, any bar gets the late hours who wants them. Going to court is certain if it isn’t equal to all.

    I drink a brew or two about once or twice a month in a bar, so for me, nothing personal. But the road to get there will be rocky no matter what the mayor of Seatte, the center of the universe, says in his PR game.