Nothing good happens after midnight.
The idea is debatable, but I find that, under most circumstances, it is very true.
Bars have been required to stop serving alcohol at 2 a.m. for a long, long time. If you are in favor of this law, you show your age. If you argue against this law, you, also, show your age.
Public safety is the number one argument favoring the 2 a.m. cut-off. At the same time, even more good times are cloaked under the guise of “more revenue” as a common argument for those that want to extend the drinking hours until 4 a.m. or later.
For Myrtle Beach, there is not really an argument that can justify serving alcohol after 2 a.m. If the law changes, here are some impact areas that might help manage the later hours.
Our city has limited public transportation. Most of it shuts down at 8 p.m. That does not bode well for the over served, liquid courage filled bar goer who is trying to get home on the cheap. The upside is that it could create more jobs if we extend the hours and service area of our public transportation. Of course that would be at the expense of tax payers.
In cities that allow bar service after 2 a.m., food choices are plenty. Maybe not vast, but try to find more than one or two places open to get a hamburger and fries at 3:30 a.m. The random drive through or breakfast joint might be open, but, overall, we are not a late night dining town. By that, I mean meals after the bars close.
The answer would be for restaurants to stay open later and serve food until the wee hours. As a former New York City restaurant guy, I assure you it is not as glamorous as it sounds. The later it gets, the more potential for trouble and the greater the potential for a liability case. Which business wants to be the last place people stop before driving home? Even if the people eat, it is late and monitoring the consumption would be a real task.
If service after the current cut off time were limited to full service restaurants, would that make a divergence?
The service industry is a big part of our community. There is nothing more frustrating that getting out of work and having nothing to eat except the left-over dinner rolls, mashed potatoes or, maybe, a Waffle House egg.
Would it be a benefit to offer more places to eat after midnight as opposed to just extending the drinking hours?
Now this might have merit. Instead of making it all about the alcohol, make it all about industry. Full service restaurants may extend their full service until 4 a.m. Is that better or worse? Is it the same?
The reason nothing good happens after midnight is because, whatever you are trying to get into, becomes a desperate, drunken plea after you have been at it for a few hours without success. On the positive side, some people are just trying to get a burger and a beer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and we should consider making that possible in Myrtle Beach.