CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The city of Cape Coral may soon be voting on whether to allow a small number of bars to stay open until 4:00 a.m. on weekends.
The Community Redevelopment Association (CRA), which is made up of the city council, discussed the issue Tuesday, but members said they wanted more time to look into the issue and will revisit the discussion next month.
The proposal was brought to the CRA by Lynn Pippenger, the owner of Dixie Roadhouse on SE 47th Terrace.
"We have a lot of hospitality workers in this area and once those restaurants close they have a very limited time to go out and relax after work," Pippenger told WINK News Tuesday.
Pippenger's proposing that the 8 bars in the Cape's entertainment district that already have the required 4COP licenses, be allowed to stay open two hours later on Fridays and Saturdays.
The 8 bars include:
-Backstreets Sports Bar
-Rack 'Em Billiards
"Initially I said no way, this is way too much, there's not gonna be enough closing time, I'm not for this I'm against it, this is crazy, then all of a sudden I thought about it and I thought 'that would really, really enhance Cape Coral," said Shelly Lapaglia, owner of Backstreets.
Pippenger says allowing the bars to stay open later will attract more people from other areas in SWFL to Cape Coral.
She also say staggering closing times will help alleviate late night traffic on weekends.
Before this goes to the city council for a vote, Pippenger says there will be a lot more discussions about planning and public safety concerns.
"Public safety is a huge part of this, and no one wants to move forward until we're all satisfied that those concerns are being addressed," she said.
Not everyone thinks the proposal is a good idea.
One bar employee told WINK News that she does not want to have to work until 5 a.m.
A bargoer told WINK News he thinks allowing people to stay out until 4 a.m. drinking at bars will lead to more arrests.
Cape Coral Police Department spokesman Sgt. Dana Coston tells WINK News that CCPD is researching the matter and does not have a stance at this time.