Dan McCoy proposes changing closing times at Albany County bars

October 04, 2019 08:24 AM

If you enjoy the late night bar scene, last-call could be happening a little earlier if Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has his way. McCoy hopes to move closing time from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m.

As first reported by the Times Union, McCoy is trying to rally other counties in the Capital District to make the change as well.


Lion Heart Pub has been an Albany fixture since 1992.

Business is so good that the pub is expanding.

“We are adding a kitchen here which will be open soon and then the big expansion, the brewery,” said owner Jerry Aumand.

With operating hours that run until 4 a.m., the bar stools stay occupied. A move by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, to require all bars and restaurants serving alcohol to close up by 2 a.m., could put it all in jeopardy.

“People put their life savings into small businesses and you can’t just say now we are changing how you are going to actually make your revenue,” added Aumand.

What McCoy says is a growing problem, with alcoholism and public safety, should be a call for action.

“You can do other things after 2 o’clock in the morning, go to breakfast, go home earlier, you are going to feel better in the morning when you go to work,” said McCoy.

Nationwide McCoy says 88,000 people die each year from either alcohol related illness or alcohol related car crashes. That’s more than the 70,000 a year from drug overdoses.

“More and More people are getting cirrhosis, more people are binge drinking,” added McCoy.

Aumand says a change in closing time won’t change people’s habits. It might actually have a negative public safety impact, as would be customers drive to nearby counties for a later last call.

McCoy went on record saying he will only make the switch for Albany if other Capital District counties do the same.

To hear about the proposal and the potential impact on small businesses, click on Jacquie Slater’s report.


WNYT Staff

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