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How Extending Bar Hours is Affecting Oxford

The Oxford Police Department and the Mayor and Board of Aldermen worked hand in hand to create consistency and simplify the regulation of alcohol consumption in Oxford. Just a few weeks after Aldermen and OPD extended closing time for Oxford’s bars to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, students, Oxonians and local business owners are already noticing a difference.  
David Tanner, bartender at The Round Table, said he has seen a growth in night life and an impact on business revenue after the hours were extended.
“People are coming out and staying until 1 a.m. It helps the bar make more money and us as bartenders make more money,” Tanner said. “Now that we are open until 1 a.m., it will help parties [or private events we host] go on longer and generate more revenue.” 
However, local business owners and bartenders are not the only ones who see a positive in a later closing time. Student Makenzie Koch said she is enjoying the new extended hours. 
“I personally think extending the hours to 1 a.m. every night gives an opportunity for everyone to go out,” Koch said. “A lot of people have different schedules, so having later hours gives people a chance to choose which night they want to go out and what time. I think it also helps controls the ‘party scene’ by having a universal time.” 
Code Enforcement Officer Rusty Rasberry says that there are many positives to the new ordinance. Before a consistent closing time, the different closing hours were confusing to citizens and out-of-towners, making it hard to regulate. However, with a universal time, this helps alleviate some issues. 
“The first issue [we addressed] was just simplifying it for the business owners and for the customers because in the past, the bars closed at midnight on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 1 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and then midnight on most Saturdays,” Rasberry said. 
Rasberry said the comments and feedback they’ve received from the community have been positive and many people see the benefit. 
Oxford resident Tyler Robbins has lived in Oxford since 2003 and agrees that the regulated schedule creates many positives.
“The extension of the bar hours to 1 a.m. creates a less confusing schedule for locals,” Robbins said. “The positives for me are now I can stay out until midnight and beat the college crowds home instead of leaving at 11 p.m.”
Robbins said the time change also gives him more flexibility that fits well with his work schedule. 
“This change also allows me to actually go out if I’m working late,” Robbins said. “Some nights, I don’t get off until after 10:30-11 p.m. With the 1 a.m. change, I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time heading out after work only to make it for last call.”

Savannah Woods is the head intern for hottytoddy.com. For questions or concerns, please email her at sswoods@go.olemiss.edu. Video courtesy of NewsWatch Ole Miss. 

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