Earliest & Latest "Last Calls"???

I was watching a travel show last night, and the host mentioned that there was a law in this particular place (he didnt mention if it was a national, regional or local law) that last call for a drink was at 11:30 pm.

This struck me as really early, as even here in straightlaced Utah, last call is a statewide mandated 1 am, (although on sunday nights they have to actually stop selling anything but 3.2 beer after midnight, which is bizzare even in a place famous for it’s wierdo liquor laws) which is not too different from other places I have been to.

I know California has a statewide last call cutoff of 2 am, as does both Oregon and Washington.

Many of us know that both Nevada and Louisiana have NO statewide law that prevents the serving/selling of alcohol at any time, and you can easily go to a bar in Reno or New Orleans at 4:30 in the morning and order a dozen mezcal shooters, and no one will blink an eye, but these states are certainly not the norm. Louisiana may have certain areas/parrishes that do have local last call laws in place, but no statewide law.

(BTW you can also buy a half gallon of rotgut vodka at a grocery store in Nevada or Louisiana at 4 am and drive off into the night with it, as the no last call in bars also means there is no cutoff time for package liquor sales)

What are some of the earliest and latest cutoffs that you know about?

I am more interested in legal cutoffs rather than “I know a little joint that shuts down nightly at 9 pm because the owner needs to get to bed” situations, but any good stories to share are certainly welcome.

International destinations are always interesting as well; I have found that despite it’s “anything goes” reputation, Amsterdam is much, much harder to find a place open for a late night (say after 3 am) beer in than Madrid, Prague, or Brussels for example…

I forgot to add that I have been to New York City several times, and I have never been able to fully understand their laws on bar operating hours.

Someone once tried to explain to me how legally, each place had to be closed for x amount of hours in each 24 hour period, but that the individual bars got to choose what hours they wanted to be closed at, so that there would always be somewhere open to get a drink at, and there was no specific law stating a certain time when it was illegal to serve alcohol…

I am not sure I have that right, but it is how it was explained to me.

Straight Dope anyone???

Bars in Vermont have last call at 2 AM, and stores (liquor, grocery, gas stations and what have you) have to stop selling at midnight.

IIRC, stores and restaurants can both start selling again at 5 or 6 AM.

In Utah, state run liquor stores (which are the ONLY places you can buy any alcohol besides 3.2% beer) close at 10 pm nightly and are not open at all on sundays.

You can buy 3.2% brew at gas stations, grocery stores etc. daily until 1 am…

I am beginning to wonder if there are any places in the US that have an earlier last call than 1 am?

Closing time in NYC is 4 am , and state law says bars can’t open until 8 am. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a drink. It just means you can’t get a drink at a place that has a liquor license and wants to keep it.

I thought the explanation I was told sounded a bit fishy…

I was last in NYC in 2007, and dont think I even ended up staying out until 3 am the entire time I was there. (that’s only 1 am here at home, which I suppose means that I am getting OLD!!!)

Whoa, wait…what??

By ‘bar’ we mean the actual counter where they sell the liquor, right? You aren’t saying that the actual establishment closes at 4. Night clubs in NYC often are open until 7 am or later.

Last Carnival, we didn’t leave Temptations in Brooklyn till 10:00am.

Shadow in Manhattan is at least 6, everytime.

I’m not sure when they actually close the bar down, though.

I was a bartender in the UK in the 80s. Last call for us was at 11, took the drinks out of your hand at 11:20, everyone was out of the pub at 11:30.

I LOVED it. I could work a shift at the pub, and still easily function as a student during the day. I would be in bed asleep by 12:30.

Sometimes we would close the shades and other bartenders would come by for pint (and we also visited their pubs as well after hours).

Panama currently has no defined time for last call. I live a block for one of the hottest nightclub districts. Sometimes when I have to be someplace early I encounter a traffic jam of people rolling out of the clubs at 5 or even 6 AM. Because of the noise, there has been some talk of instituting a 2 AM closing time, but it hasn’t gone anywhere yet.

Colibri, I was just resigned to letting this thread die, but as there now is a small bit of interest, do you think it would be better moved to GQ or MPSIMS?

Here in WV, booze cannot be served after 2AM, therefore last call is somewhere around 1:30-1:45AM, at the barkeep’s discretion; in liquor stores, liquor cannot be sold between midnight and 8AM. On Sundays, no alcohol can be sold before 1PM, and after that, nothing distilled.

So after Noon on Sundays, you can buy beer and wine, but nothing distilled.

The exception is restaurants. Their bars cannot serve ‘hard’ liquor (or anything distilled) on Sundays, but the restaurant itself can serve the hard stuff during normal operating hours.

It’s strange. . .

Ha! I remember the first time I went to London in the 80’s - I decided to hit the Gay bars near my pension in Earl’s Court. Having lived in NYC and Berlin, I went out fashionably late (about 11:00 PM) which is when most guys in NYC and Berlin would first venture out for the evening. Imagine my surprise when I literally had just walked in the pub door to hear, “Last call!” I thought it was a joke.
Needless to say, the next day I got there a tad earlier…

BTW, don’t know if it is still true, but back when I was living in Berlin, it was the only city in Germany that had bars open 24/7 (although I think they were required to close one hour - any time of day - to clean floors and bathrooms, etc.).

Oh Pennsylvania, how I love thee…

Last call is at 2…everywhere, EXCEPT for this one bar in the Southside (of Pittsburgh) that I know of where last call is allegedly (as in, friends and bartender friends have told me of it, but I have not personally experienced it) 3am. Said bar apparently/supposedly pays an extra fee to have the special designation, but it seems odd at best and illegal and shady at worst.

Beer distributors sell cases, convenience stores sell six and twelve packs. All wine and liquor is sold exclusively in state-run monopolies, the liquor stores.

The liquor store is open till 9pm Monday-Saturday, and closed on Sundays…EXCEPT Premium Collection stores, which are larger and have a better selection overall. Premium Collection stores are open till 5 on Sundays.

You have to be 21 to enter any liquor store…EXCEPT if you’re the child of people purchasing the alcohol. I hate small children running around the liquor store, slobbering everywhere while my 20 year old SO sits in the parking lot.

The weirdest state laws I’ve heard of were in Indiana. One of my best friends is from Indiana, and the lot of us were in for his wedding two years ago. In Indiana, you can’t sit at the same table as someone who is having a drink if you’re underage. I have no idea how this is enforced, as I doubt parents are made to sit at different tables from their spawn, but it certainly is for groups of college students. So, the groom’s 20 year old brother sat at a “different table” than we did - a series of 2 person tables pulled up right next to each other was you skirt the issue.

At one point, we had to divide into the people who were under 21 and over two into different cars, because in lovely Indiana, you cannot be in the parking lot of the liquor store with people in your car who are under 21. Worst of all, it is actively enforced - cops demanded to see ID from a relative of the groom years ago.

Liquor laws are absurd.

OP, don’t you have to have a “sponsor” or somesuch in a bar in Utah? How does this work? If it is true, how does it work for tourists who ski (and later, drink) at Utah’s various resorts?

These days different pubs have different closing times dictated by their licences, but historically in Australasia (from the first World War until the mid-'50s in NSW and the mid-'60s in Victoria and NZ) there was a closing time of 6 p.m.

As workers would finish up at five, this meant that people would swarm to the pub, have one or two beers, then at about 5:50 they’d buy four rounds (or more) and drink them as quickly as possible - a pastime known as the “six o’clock swill”.

Then they’d pop home and commit a few brief acts of domestic violence and they were ready for bed. Bucolic, ain’t it?

List of Last Call times from around the world(wiki)

Palatine, IL - as late as 4:00 am and they can reopen at 5:00 am. What can I say? I love it here.

Does anyone know Cleveland’s last call time? I visited once, and the city seemed to shut down after 10 p.m.

I live in the Philly area and we have a 2 p.m. last call.

As far as I’m aware, the ‘last call’ is not legally mandated. Yes, you have times after which you can no longer sell <2:30 is the latest I’ve seen personally> but I’ve been the hapless schmuck behind the bar when the owner said “Hey, shut them down early, cause they’re a bunch of drunk bikers and I don’t want them hanging around all night”. Luckily at the time I looked even younger than I was, and though a few guys stared at me and looked like they wanted to start something, they…just couldn’t. I was too cute and innocent. <coughs> (Also wasn’t old enough to serve liquor but hey. Let’s just skip past that part)

But yar. ‘Last call’ is at the establishment’s discretion, and isn’t even required. It’s just a nice way of reminding people that it’s soon time to leave.

<Realizes that part’s been covered already>
I believe that in Utah, bars are kinda like price clubs. You either belong, or you pay a hell of an uncorking fee and bring your own booze. Something like that.

p.s. I see that Utah finally joined the rest of the nation in July, and now bars are accord ‘public’ status, wheee!
Congratulations, Utah!

Haha…when I briefly lived in Bloomington, my jaw was agape at the idea of ‘drive-through liquor stores’. That was the first time I’d seen that <and I think the only time>

Hoosier Buddy Liquor Drive Through, wahhoooooo!!

Seems to be doing fine here now. I think CS is probably as good a place as any for it.