Sunday, May 20, 2018
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More hours to sell alcohol on table

Council against 2 a.m. close but looking at expanding hours.

Local bar and restaurant owners won’t be able to stay open until 2 a.m. but business hours may increase.

At their Feb. 15 meeting, the Gothenburg City Council asked that an ordinance be drawn up that would allow bars and restaurants to stay open until 1 a.m. every night and from noon to 1 a.m. Sunday (see box for current hours.)

Extending hours to sell alcohol surfaced in January when Pete’s Lounge owner Cherry Alger asked that her business be allowed to stay open until 2 a.m.

Last year, state legislators passed a law that allows local governments to decide if businesses can serve drinks on their premises until 2 a.m.

The council tabled Alger’s request to get community feedback.

During the January meeting, she and other bar owners said they’d like to accommodate pool players who frequent their businesses on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Steve Walker, owner of Walker’s Steakhouse & Lounge, had asked for extended hours on Sundays to accommodate golfers and others who might want alcohol with their meals.

A survey sent to and returned by utility customers, prior to the request, showed 57 people favoring extending alcohol-sale hours to 2 a.m. with 460 against.

Council members Tim Strauser, Gary Fritch and Mayor Joyce Hudson said they’d heard some comments from people opposing the measure.

Council president Jeff Kennedy said he didn’t want residents from surrounding communities racing to Gothenburg for last call at 2 a.m.

Member Jeff Whiting agreed, saying he didn’t want to be a magnet for other towns.

Cozad and Lexington’s councils and Brady’s village board have not passed the measure.

There are also no alcohol sales in Cozad on Sunday but sales are allowed in Brady and Lexington.

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