St. Paul city council votes to oppose 4 a.m. bar closing time

Out on the town
Friends Wendy Lunning, Christina Moriarty and Jocylyn Poehler and her husband, Daniel Poehler (not pictured) catch up over Friday happy hour at Senor Wong, a new restaurant in downtown St. Paul. Jocylyn Poehler said she wouldn't support a 4 a.m. closing time for St. Paul bars during the RNC. "I don't really see the reason for it, other than to impress people from the East and West Coast."
MPR News/Laura Yuen

The St. Paul City Council today opposed a bill that would allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m. during the Republican National Convention.

Council members predicted early morning headaches for residents who would have to put up with bar hoppers spilling into the parking lots. They also said the later hours would put a strain on the police department.

Council member Dave Thune, who represents downtown St. Paul, called the scene "a nightmare."

"Remember whose ward this is going to end up in -- it's mine. And I've got 8,000 people living downtown who don't want a bunch of puking Republican lobbyists on the streets at 4 in the morning," Thune said.

A RNC spokesman told Minnesota Public Radio his group didn't push for the later hours, and that the convention goers will be frequenting a number of businesses ranging from art museums to restaurants.

The council passed the resolution by a vote of 4 to 3.

The Legislature is expected to take up the issue next week.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.