If you haven't already heard, you're hearing now. There's an ordinance thats been drawn up by Mayor Riley and Police Chief Mullen that will close bars in the entertainment district of downtown Charleston at midnight. That's right, the leaders of our tiny peninsula that houses over 10,000 students, want to close down all newly established sources of "entertainment" at midnight. That includes grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations. God forbid you need gas after Frank and Sheila from Akron Ohio go to bed in their hotel suite. Carriage tours can be tiring.
Originally, the ordinance is for new businesses only, however, there is no clause that would stop the rest of Charleston's bars and restaurants being pulled down into it later on. Let's do a little math. Yes, Charleston has become a tourist attraction. Yes, hotels are springing up everywhere. Yes, once you pass a certain age, you become bothered by rowdy rapscallions running around with their rap music, and funny clothes, but hear this. Tourist season is just that, seasonal. Are those hotels filled in January and February? Are there carriage tours on every street during the cold months? No.
Are the bars filled? Is King Street full of college kids and bachelor and bachelorette parties that drove for miles to come to our amazing food and drink? Is money pouring into the local economy from these bars and restaurants every single weekend? Yes.
Just because you enjoy a warm glass of milk before your 7:45 bedtime doesn't mean everyone else does. Remember when they shut down drinking out at Folly? People were angry. Do you think for one second there is no drinking on Folly Beach? People are going to do what they want to do, ordinance or not. It's ridiculous and if you don't want Charleston business owners to lose hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in revenue, you should let your opinion be known in any way you can. Here's a start.