Texas State students have learned to appreciate The Square as a consistent source of entertainment. However, a change will disrupt the tradition we have become accustomed to. Our town will, for the first time in its history, allow businesses to sell liquor until 2 a.m.
Like the handguns-on-campus bill, 2 a.m. closing has become a hot button issue for San Marcos residents. Both sides of the conflict have been weighed and argued. Those in favor of later closing are the victors and those in opposition express concerns about the effects it will have on our town.
The change will inevitably be drastic to the way San Marcos operates and I urge residents and business owners to prepare.
If one wanted to sit and observe the differences between bars that stay open until 2 a.m. and bars that close earlier, he or she might notice blatant distinctions.
First, one might notice bars that close later have more outbreaks of violence.
“When I moved here from East Texas, I was surprised there weren’t many fights in the bars,” said Heather Kiefer, a local bar patron.
Kiefer recently moved from a town in East Texas that allows bars to stop selling at 2 a.m. She said clubs that did not utilize strict security suffered the most.
“It was a normal thing to hear of law suits against bar owners. People would drink too much, get in a wreck and then make someone else accept the consequences,” Kiefer said.
In Texas, it is the responsibility of the employees serving alcohol to monitor their customers’ consumption, but it is also the responsibility of the consumer to know their limits. Sadly, not everyone always respects this obligation.
However, not every aspect of extending bar hours is negative. In my opinion, later hours will bring in business from Kyle and New Braunfels, because the bars in both cities will still close at midnight.
More people coming in will diversify the crowd in The Square and could possibly change the dynamic of some places. For many people that may be a scary thought, but the best part about diversity is it helps avoid monotony.
The promise of later bar hours is said to have inspired new bars to open in San Marcos. New businesses mean more jobs, not to mention, more choices for entertainment. Since the proposition passed in November, two new bars have opened: Harper’s Public House and One -41.
Yes, the situation definitely has pros and cons, but it will be interesting to see how extended hours will affect our town. Hopefully, people will see it as a privilege and remember we are all accountable to each other to help keep San Marcos safe.