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Walsh To Explore Extending Closing Time For Boston Bars, Restaurants To 3:30 a.m.

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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he’s considering a plan to keep several bars and restaurants open as late as 3:30 a.m.

Certain neighborhoods would be allowed to serve alcohol until 2:30 a.m. and doors would close an hour later.

Most bars and restaurants currently close at 2 a.m.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

The mayor told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday he’s looking at more than just the social aspect of a change.

“This is also looking at our economy, looking at attracting talent to Boston, retaining talent in Boston,” Walsh said.

“We have a lot of companies, high tech, bio tech, financial services companies in our city and we have a lot of international folks living in our city. And a lot of these folks are used to living in cities that stay open later at night.”

The mayor said he’s creating a task force to look into it.

“I’m not necessarily looking to open every establishment in the city of Boston, I want to be selective in zones in the city. Ultimately what we’re going to need is, potentially, a change in the Legislature, because the licenses are state licenses,” he said.

Walsh will formally unveil his plan in a speech Friday afternoon at the Boston Municipal Research Bureau’s annual meeting at the Seaport Hotel.

It will likely be set up as a pilot project at first, with the hope that it will be implemented in time for the launch of late night MBTA service.

Bob Luz, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association expressed excitement over the possibility.

“It is clear that Mayor Walsh wants to evaluate some out of the box ideas to continue to stimulate, expand and invigorate the food and beverage scene in Boston,” Luz said in a statement. “We look forward to partnering with his office and our members to assist in exploring the different proposals, and are excited that the Mayor is linking a vibrant restaurant scene with economic growth in Boston.”

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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