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How would 4 a.m. last call change Atlanta entertainment?

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Last call is 2:30 a.m. in Atlanta clubs and bars, like Mary's in East Atlanta, but there's talk again of making it 4 a.m. AJC file photo

It’s baaaaaaack!

Not Atlanta’s 4 a.m. last call, but the discussion about Atlanta’s 4 a.m. last call.

Should last call in Atlanta move back to 4 a.m.?

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Per an AJC story, Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced legislation Monday to request the city study revenue opportunities of shifting last call from 2:30 a.m. to 4 a.m. (”Revenue opportunities” = alcohol sales tax.) The legislation went to the council’s Finance/Executive committee for discussion. Hall asked for a summary report by Jan. 30.

Everyone in Atlanta seems to have an opinion on life in a later late-night town. Some recall it fondly, as if we haven’t had any fun since. Some of you are horrified, as if every night before 2004 was sleepless one. (I didn’t live here and I don’t have much context for what life was like. My neighborhood is pretty tame. If Mrs. Birdsong so much as raises an eyebrow, everyone apologizes and disperses quietly.)

For those that don’t remember: the council voted in December 2003 to push back last call to 2:30 a.m. largely in response to complaints from Buckhead residents and violence outside some nightclubs. Since then, entertainment districts have shifted, and so has the in-town population.

We’ve talked before about whether neighborhoods and nightclubs can co-exist, but this takes the question to neighborhoods, nightclubs and hours of the night. Let’s just consider it. Pretend that as of January 1, Atlanta goes back to being a 4 a.m. town.

Knowing how Atlanta’s population and entertainment districts have changed in the last five years, what would happen if last call went back to 4 a.m.? Would you want to live in Atlanta? Hang out there? Travel there?

Before you comment, remember that this is a blog about fun things to do in Atlanta — we’re not arguing about politics or race here. Focus, and treat each other with respect. Let’s push the conversation forward.

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43 comments Add your comment


December 3rd, 2009
9:23 am

4am. I remember those days. I glad I got older and wiser. Those were fun times back then.


December 2nd, 2009
5:10 pm

I’m about 3 weeks late to the party, but I loved the article. Sadly I never got to know the Atlanta with the 4 AM last call, but I have some great memories of the Buckhead strip (currently known as the rubble along Peachtree Rd). It’s unfortunate that Atlanta no longer has a centralized party place like the Buckhead Strip used to serve as or Cresent Ave used to be before Vision shut down and Hush burned to the ground. I think Orlando has probably done the best with Pleasure Island. That’s an amazing area with everything contained. Atlanta recently turned a trouble-area around when they built Atlantic Station, maybe they could do the same for a “party central” (ideally along a Marta rail line that should stays open long enough to deter drunk driving).

[...] now, there’s been an interesting discussion about it over in a post from last week, “How would 4 a.m. last call change Atlanta?” Let’s keep the discussion moving forward in a respectful way. The more perspectives, [...]