Measure would make 24-hour bars possible
WILDWOOD - July 28, 2010 (WPVI) -- Wildwood has about 60 active liquor licenses, 20 of them belonging to bars and nightclubs.
Though, the three-member city commission did not vote on the ordinance that would allow bars to serve alcohol around the clock, there were a lot of voice heard Wednesday night.
Some saw great potential in the measure while others saw potential for trouble.
"Young kids they want class, they want lights, they want glitter!" resident Anthony Poukise said.
"What do we want, a better clientele of drunks? More sophisticated drunks?" resident Rita Sanguinetti said.
Tavern owners in Wildwood favor the ordinance that would end the last call which is currently 3:00 a.m.
"If we have an opportunity to close at a later time, people are going to have a trickle out effect and that's really what we're interested in. We're interested in people coming in their pace and leaving at their pace," John Davis of Luna Ristorante told Action News earlier Wednesday.
Davis says it would eliminate hundreds or thousands of bar patrons from pouring onto the street at the same time. Not saying how he will vote, Mayor Gary De Marzo says he understands the need for club owners to be competitive with places like Atlantic City, but:
"The downside is perception, the downside is somehow the cork will come out of the bottle and the place will become a madhouse," Mayor De Marzo said.
Commissioner Ed Harshaw says most people he has heard from tell him to vote against the ordinance.
"Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, I've had several members of that organization call me and say, 'We don't need this and you're going to be putting drunks out onto the street,' and I do agree with that," Harshaw said.
John Davis says he doubts any bar owner will stay open 24 hours a day; still, several people Action News spoke with see problems with the proposal.
"I just think it will lead to other problems, so therefore, I'm not in favor of it," Jerry Boyle of North Wildwood said.
It remains to be seen when a vote will take place.
new jersey, wildwood, cape may county, local/state, cathy gandolfo
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