I Bar Sign

UPDATE: The ordinance was deferred after bar and club owners came forward to voice concerns. The city will and Downtown Development board will work with business owners to come up with a new proposal. Click here for our updated story.

The Orlando City Council will vote today on a measure that would allow bars within the Downtown area to serve alcohol until 3 a.m. the the mornings following Thursday through Saturday. This will be the first of two readings of the proposed ordinance. The next one will likely happen in two weeks.

There a a couple of things to note about the proposed law.

First, downtown bars would need to file for a separate late night permit in order to take advantage of the extended hours. This permit would need to be renewed annually. Neither the permitting process nor the renewal process should be difficult for most bars.

A bar who is taking advantage of the new Late Night Permit would not be able to allow anyone under 21 to enter their premises after 10 p.m.

Second, downtown bars who do not have a late night permit (because they did not file or renew or because it was revoked due to a violation) would only be able to serve alcohol until midnight.

And finally any bar that has a Late Night Permit would be required to use electronic ID scanning if they have a capacity over 100.

There are of course exceptions for restaurants, movie theaters, music and entertainment venus (while the performance taking place) and places that sell packaged alcohol like convince or grocery stores.

The downtown area is defined by the Downtown CRA which for the most part is bordered by Westmoreland Dr. on the West, Summerlin Ave. on the East, Gore St. on the South and Colonial Dr. on the North. In addition it includes the Uptown area north of Colonial Dr. Click here for a map of the Downtown CRA boundary.

Additionally, here is a link to the proposed changes.

We’ll update you with any changes or votes on the new ordinance.

What are your thoughts on letting bars downtown stay open until 3 a.m.?

Photo by Flickr user Elvissa.

Updated on August, 26, 5:45 p.m. to reflect the outcome of the city council meeting.

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