One of the best things about being a New Yorker is the fact that after a long day of work, one can enjoy a few drinks at a nice restaurant or bar. If it’s cold, you do it to warm up; if it’s hot, you do it to cool down, and you never need to worry about driving home. Luckily, there is an array of fabulous happy hours around the city that keep prices low and customers happy. Unfortunately, this most serene of times is in danger of disappearing from the Big Apple if certain members of the Department of Health get their way.
The New York Post reports that Commissioner Thomas Farley and select colleagues are seriously pushing a happy hour ban for the city, though the agency’s spokesperson has denied the idea. Still, the rumors are consistent with goals described in Farley’s “Take Care New York 2012” plan. There, he details his plan for the DOH to support policies which “reduce risky alcohol use,” among both underage drinkers and adults who drink heavily. This is consistent with a January 2012 DOH plan that would have reduced the number of bars in parts of the city. (That plan was eventually scrapped, allegedly because of opposition from Mayor Bloomberg.) This plan would require changes to state law, but it is not unheard of. As of now, there are 19 states in the Union that do not permit happy hours, including Utah and Massachusetts.
Expectedly, restaurant and bar owners are upset by this possible turn of events. Owners are worried that without the cheap early evening prices, business will drop off and simply won’t recover.
If this bill passes, will it be observed by restaurant owners and bartenders? Will they rebel outright? Or will speakeasies rise again, with people going to secret locations for a half off martini and cheap bar snacks? The only thing that is for certain is that there will be some pretty unhappy people if happy hour ends.
Buiso, G. (2012, April 29). Party poopers eye unhappy hour. The New York Post. Retrieved from http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/party_poopers_eye_unhappy_hour_BlWPbB2ohSJMj2fsh5txSI (2012, May 1).