Boulder city leaders push last call back to 10 p.m.


BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — People heading out to bars and restaurants in Boulder will now be hearing last call an hour earlier than other parts of the metro area.

The City of Boulder issued an emergency order Friday evening limiting alcohol service to between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

“We understand that this order may be frustrating for bars and restaurants that sell alcohol, but the intent is to prevent the city from reverting to Safer at Home Level 3, which would place a further burden on local businesses,” City Manager Jane Brautigam said.

According to a release from the city, the goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. New cases have been on the rise in Boulder for nearly three weeks, with the vast majority of new cases coming from college-age people, “particularly those attending the University of Colorado at Boulder and living in the University Hill neighborhood,” the city said.

“In my opinion—if we don’t do that, we’re going to keep doing those things where it’s 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock, closed—period. Like other states are doing. We might suffer for a couple months. But let’s suffer for a couple months instead of a couple years,” Matt Wolvington, General Manager of the Outback Saloon, said.

“From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., those are our prime hours of revenue. We have a more late night crowd that comes in. So when you take that away, that’s taking 50% of our revenue away.”

This decision comes on the heals of an emergency order banning gatherings of people between the ages of 18 and 22.

“Alcohol can play a big part in social gatherings,” Brautigam said. “We are hoping this order will help curb the current case increase we are seeing among younger members of the community.”

The ban creates another issue for the Outback Saloon since it is known as a late night hot spot in Boulder.

“Pearl Street sort of shut down, so the students are filtering this way. We’re trying to just obey the ordinances put in place. So if you’re under 23, we’re going to ask that you go home and don’t come in here, and do the quarantine that is put in place by the government,”

“It’s that tough balance. Any money is good money, right? But we just want to make sure we’re following the rules and keeping everybody safe.”

On July 21, Governor Jared Polis issued a statewide order banning the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. A month later, on Aug. 21, he adjusted the order allowing bars and restaurants in communities designated Safer at Home Phase 2 to remain open until 11 p.m.

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