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July 26, 2013

Towns aren't rushing to extend last call

(Continued)

“There’s not much of a market,” Gleason said.

Derry, like Salem, has many bars and restaurants, but Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said businesses haven’t approached the town and the town council hasn’t brought up the matter.

“Neither has occurred so far,” Budreau said.

He said he hasn’t reviewed the bill yet, but Budreau said the process likely would involve the council holding a public hearing before acting on a proposal, should the issue move forward.

The bill’s passage pleased Ryan Tobin, co-owner of The Halligan Tavern in downtown Derry.

“We welcome the extra business,” Tobin said. “It would be nice to keep customers in town, rather than have them go out of state.”

The tavern stays open until 1 a.m. now.

Tobin said the business would go along with whatever the town should decide about closing time.

Londonderry officials haven’t had a request for later last call.

“Nobody has asked,” Town Council Chairman John Farrell said.

If the issue arises, the town would look first to police for their input and also would hold a public hearing before taking any action, he said.

Windham Selectmen’s Chairman Phil LoChiatto said the town hasn’t received a request to extend last call, but there are only a handful of businesses that would be affected.

LoChiatto said some already choose to close earlier than the state’s existing 1 a.m. law allows.

“A lot of them would be affected by zoning,” he said. “They are in a neighborhood business zone with restrictions on hours.”

The issue hasn’t come up in Hampstead, Newton, Kingston, Plaistow or Danville, officials said.

“Unless someone comes up to me to make a case, I wouldn’t change anything,” Hampstead Selectman Richard Hartung said.

Rep. Mark Warden, R-Goffstown, sponsored the bill.

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