California could extend bar hours to 4 a.m. in these cities

Last call at 4 a.m. could be coming to bars in several California cities under a new proposal by two Bay Area lawmakers. 

Senate Bill 930 - authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Matt Haney - would allow seven pilot cities to extend alcohol sales at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. 

The seven pilot cities are San Francisco, Oakland, West Hollywood, Fresno, Coachella, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs.

Under the proposal, cities would be granted full control over when and where to implement it. City officials can choose to extend alcohol sales to certain areas, and/or days of the week/night. Cities could even choose to extend sales during special events only. For example, Coachella can extend sales only when the annual Coachella Festival is taking place, or San Francisco doing so when Outside Lands musical festival is held.

Establishments must seek a permit to extend hours and undergo review by California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

This isn't Wiener's first attempt at extending last call. The legislature passed a similar measure in 2018, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, who said such legislation would lead to "mischief & mayhem."

"No, it won’t lead to mischief & mayhem. But it will lead to better, more diverse & more interesting nightlife in the cities that decide to participate. It will also help the nightlife sector, which has been battered by the pandemic," Wiener tweeted. 

If approved, the pilot program would begin in 2025.