Mayor wants extended bar hours back

Posted at 10:25 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 06:37:37-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Mayor Marni Sawicki told residents at a meeting Tuesday night that she wants to revive a program that allowed bars in the city to stay open until 4:00 a.m.

"It's not for drinking, it's because they're going to make an event of it, a night of it," said Sawicki.

The mayor says it's not just about keeping the booze flowing past 2 a.m. , it's a business decision she says will help local watering holes throughout the city thrive.

The primary reason is it will get young professionals to spend their money in the Cape.  "You have your hospitality people, you'd have your entertainment people, you would have news reporters, quite a few news reporters say they like the 4:00 a.m, your doctors, your nurses, they also get off at midnight."

Mayor Sawicki told constituents at her "Mayor's Night Out" she has data showing a drop off in business at Cape Coral night spots since the pilot program extending bar hours ended.

Some of the business came from people who drove over from Ft. Myers.

"People were crossing later, having dinner at 10 or 11, and then they would still be able to go out."

Some residents told the mayor they're concerned bringing back the extended bar hours will contribute to DUI crimes in the city.

No word yet on when the issue will come up before city council.