June 16, 2013

State will decide Essex County bar hours

ELIZABETHTOWN — All five people who spoke at a State Liquor Authority hearing heartily supported turning off alcohol sales in Essex County an hour earlier every morning.

Bars in Essex County are currently required to stop serving alcohol at 4 a.m., but the Essex County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution to roll that back to 3 a.m.

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The State Liquor Authority must OK the earlier closing times before they can take effect, and it held a public hearing Thursday evening in the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown to take comments.

The authority will vote on the county’s request at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Board Secretary Jacqueline Held said.

“They will determine if yes, the hours should be amended, or if no, they should not.”


Liquor Authority Chairman Dennis Rosen and Held presided over the hearing, which began with Supervisor Gerald Morrow (D-Chesterfield) talking about why he proposed the 3 a.m. closing time.

“I brought it up; the first one (proposal) was for 2 o’clock. But some of our restaurant owners in North Elba, Lake Placid protested,” he said. 

“There was opposition from that side of the county. I figured 3 o’clock was a good compromise for now.”

Some restaurant-bar owners in Lake Placid say that because it’s a resort community, they have people coming in later to eat and drink alcohol, and their businesses would be economically impacted by a change to 2 a.m.

One Lake Placid lodging owner said his business is negatively impacted by the later closing hours, however.

Vic Kraus, owner of Mountain View Inn on Main Street, said his guests are often awakened by loud bar patrons.

“This has been a longstanding problem. The nightclub situation in downtown Lake Placid is pretty bad when it gets to be 3:30, 4 in the morning. 

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