Daytona Beach proposal would slide last call to 2 a.m.

Race day is now just 48 hours away, and with it comes a big financial boost to the local economy. Although some fear their bottom line is about to take a hit. 

The Daytona Beach City Commissioners voted Wednesday 5-2 to move to a second reading on a proposal to change the closing time for bars. 

The proposed city ordinance would move closing time from 3 a.m. to 2 a.m. There was minimal discussion at the first reading as Mayor Derrick Henry noted previous debates on the topic.

Mayor Henry feels this ordinance would help improve the safety and quality of life in the community. 

"Being open at 3 a.m. doesn’t give us the resources to do those things. It drains are resources to allow people to drink until 3 a.m.," said Henry. 

Stacy Cantu, of Zone 4, is one of two commissioners to vote against the idea. She believes now is not the time to discuss this as small businesses are just starting to recover from the pandemic. 

"That last hour could mean someone’s electric bill because when the other business close down they come to Daytona and most of the time it’s the people that were working in an establishment to relax before they go home," said Cantu. 

The owner of Oyster Pub on Seabreeze Blvd., Kyriakos Drymonis, agrees with Cantu. He feels closing early is punishing establishments for an issue that goes beyond last call. 

"We think some better law enforcement on the street that could be a little bit more beneficial that would actually cure some problems," said Drymonis. 

This ordinance will be discussed again on March 2, for a public hearing and the final vote. 

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