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Governor LePage Looks to Extend Maine Bar Hours From 1 to 2 a.m.

Not many are speaking in favor of the emergency legislation, though.

Umami Noodle Bar in Bangor is already open until 3 a.m. and would be happy to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.
Umami Noodle Bar in Bangor is already open until 3 a.m. and would be happy to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.
Umami Noodle Bar/FB

Maine's Governor Paul LePage (R) introduced emergency legislation last Thursday called "An Act To Better Serve the Seasonal Tourist Market during the 2015 Summer Season and Early Autumn with a Pilot Program To Extend the Authorized Hours during Which Liquor May Be Served." It calls for an extension of last call until 2 a.m. through October 12 (Columbus Day) in order to better serve tourists, specifically those from Massachusetts and New York where closing time is 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., respectively.

According to the Press Herald, the Maine Restaurant Association "has not taken a position on the bill." Richard Harrera, co-owner of Portland's Old Port Tavern, "doesn't like the idea of allowing bars and restaurants to remain open until 2 a.m." as he'd have to increase staff and payroll for the extra hour and he believes bartenders wouldn't want to work that long anyway.

The Bangor Daily News spoke with supporters from Umami Lounge in Bangor (which sells food until 3 a.m. already) and Pastimes Pub in Dover-Foxcroft, who feel business would benefit from later alcohol service to accompany the late-night eats they provide. The majority of sources quoted in the piece, though, are against the bill, as are those in coverage from WCSH6. This is sure to be a heated debate.

Old Port Tavern

11 Hamilton St, Portland, ME 04106