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The Burren vs. Sleepy Cambridge [09 Apr 2007|10:45pm]

It's been over four years and I can't get used to the way everything in the Boston area closes down early. This article about Davis Square provides some insight.

News that a local pub, the Burren, has been granted a temporary license to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. makes Chan and her neighbors on Wallace Street, which feeds into Holland, one of the square's main drags, worry how late they'll be awakened this summer and how many other bars will ask for the extension.

“It's like having a party until 2 o'clock in the morning,” said Chan, an actress and speaking coach who has an 8-year-old son. “Anything that happens in the square, we hear it.”

Yes, our bars in many areas have to plead even to get temporary licenses allowing them to remain open until 2 a.m.. The restrictions are spotty and confusing.

This is maybe more upsetting:

Jack Connolly, a Davis Square insurance agent and former alderman who is running for an at-large seat on the board, said other bars will soon be lining up for 2 a.m. licenses, and he's concerned that businesses like Dunkin' Donuts, which closes at midnight, and Anna's Taqueria, now open till 11:30, may ask to stay open later, too.

I hope they do line up, and I hope they get them. It's saddening to see a small group trying to leverage their property ownership as a means of control over the freedom of other people to associate. If there are problems with noise and disturbances, those should be addressed by the police in other ways. They should not be addressed by placing arbitrary restrictions on businesses, as this ends in the enforcement of a homogenous culture (don't you know it's bed time?) at the expense of many interesting and equally valid alternatives.

Don't get too excited about the Burren as a last call destination—the article says that they won't be allowing customers in after 1 a.m..

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