Last call? Saratoga Springs City Council considers earlier closing time for some bars

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The Saratoga Springs City Council passed a resolution that calls for the city attorney to include a letter with the applications to the state liquor authority asking that it “prohibit the sale of alcohol…beyond 2:00 am as a condition of…granting any such application.”

This comes after a police-involved shooting last month.

The move targets new establishments seeking liquor licenses as well as existing ones looking to renew or amend their licenses.

Saratoga Springs Public Safety Commissioner Jim Montagnino, calls it a victory that will keep the people of Saratoga Springs safe. “In terms of statistics, we have the highest level of use of force by the police department occurring after 2 am. We have a significant uptick in calls for service for the police department as well as EMS run by the fire department in the wee hours of the morning. So the hope is that this will curtail some of the negative consequences being open at that hour,” he said.

But bar owners like Alex Straus, owner of Night Owl Saratoga says it feels more like a punishment to the businesses who’ve been around for years. “Really it’s about the businesses that are operating without issue past 2 am. The tourist that are coming to Saratoga feeling like they get to stay out until 4amif they want. They never actually do but the ability to brings us tourism brings people who want to have a bachelorette bachelor party. It brings a lot of business to Saratoga…rushing to this 2 am choice,” said Straus.

Montagnino said he understands the owners’ frustrations, but feels this decision is best for the community as a whole.