My friendly neighborhood Mount Vernon Triangle blog points out that the DC City Council has passed a law allowing bars and clubs to stay open 24 hours a day during inauguration week. I recall from over the summer that St Paul did something similar for the Republican Convention.
The thinking behind this sort of thing escapes me. The basic idea seems to be that we should allow extended hours during these kind of “special” weeks because demand is high. But if during normal weeks the demand for late-night bars would be low, then why the need to prevent the bars from staying open? And if bars should be allowed to stay open longer when demand is high, why not let bars stay open as long as they want all the time and let market demand determine closing hours? I grew up in New York where things are open all the time, and miss that kind of 24 hour service. I imagine that a place like DC (or St. Paul) wouldn’t be much of a 24 hour city no matter how you regulated it. But why not give it a shot and see what happens?