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David Fagin

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"Shorely, You Can't Be Serious" -- Residents of Point Pleasant, N.J. Vote to Close Bars Early

Posted: 06/20/2012 2:07 pm

If there's anyone who knows what it's like to live in a noisy part of town, it's yours truly. A few years back, I moved to Hoboken with the hope of avoiding the calamity and insanity of Manhattan. Little did I know the quiet I so desperately desired would be short-lived, as the incessant noises of "progress" began, in earnest, shortly after.

Nowadays, you might as well call the area around my building "Post-War Iraq." With half a dozen new condos going up (as well as a Trader Joe's), the reconstruction of the viaduct linking us to Jersey City, the six-nights-a-week garbage pick up (at 3:30 a.m.), and the screaming, drunken stragglers stumbling out of the Biergarten down the street each and every weekend, I think I can identify with the residents of Point Pleasant, N.J., who, in their own desperate attempt for peace and quiet, just voted to cease the sale of alcohol after midnight beginning July 1.

A second part of the law, which would have allowed bars wanting to remain open 'til 2 to pay a $60 per person "extortion tax," was voted down.

As much as I empathize with their situation, I have to ask... "Are you Nuts?"

Trading a few extra "theoretical" hours of peace and quiet in exchange for the decimation of a sizable chunk of the town's revenue, just doesn't make sense. Besides, noisy, drunken revelers are as much a part of the tapestry of the Jersey Shore as high rent and sirens are to Manhattan. They've been around longer than the dinosaurs.

In the long run, there's little chance this ordinance will succeed, because the consequences will be too dire.

A few examples of these consequences might be:

a). Many regulars who vacation in Point Pleasant will simply vacate to the surrounding towns.

b). As a result of this mass exodus, revenue will drop considerably, thus, the city council will be forced to raise taxes.

c). When the clock strikes 11:55, patrons will line up ten shots of Patron in order to beat the curfew. This will, no doubt, result in more D.U.I's and raise the risk of injury to residents and tourists alike.

d). Why stop there? If the midnight alcohol ban is successful, the city council will move for a noise ordinance requiring private residences to shut down parties after midnight. The subsequent loss of interest in the Point Pleasant rental market will be substantial.

Perhaps the people of Point Pleasant got the idea for the alcohol curfew from their neighbors in Sea Girt, as they already have a midnight ban on alcohol. The problem is, there are two major differences: One is, Sea Girt is an affluent town and doesn't rely on revenue from its bars to thrive. The second is, Sea Girt only has a few bars to begin with, compared with literally dozens in Point Pleasant. Thus, the financial damage for the city of Point Pleasant will be exponentially greater.

At present, folks in Sea Girt who wish to party past midnight simply jump in a cab and head to one of the surrounding towns. If the same is true for Point Pleasant, the one industry that will
undeniably benefit from this curfew will be the taxi companies.

 

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