Closing Time Extended in Borger

- BORGER -- Bars in Borger can now stay open later.

        The Borger city council last month unanimously approved an ordinance allowing bars to stay open until 2 a.m.

        Several are already planning to make the switch.

        Bar owners in town are the ones who pushed the idea.  They presented it to the city council last month, citing several reasons.  But safety for their patrons was the driving factor.

        Owners say when they close at Midnight, some patrons want to continue drinking, so they drive to Amarillo, where bars are already open until 2 a.m.

        Highway 136 between Borger and Amarillo is already dangerous enough but when you add drunk drivers to the list, it becomes even more dangerous.

        Safety on Borger streets is also a concern.  The city's movie theater is located right across the street from the Main Street Bar.  Often times, the late movie will let out at the same time as the bar closes.

        The owner of Lucky Eddie's bar, Edwin Ortiz, has applied for a new permit through the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to serve alcohol until 2 a. m. but, can't stay open that late until it's approved.

        While safety is the main reason for the extended hours, the city also stands to benefit economically.

        Councilwoman Brandy Callahan says even though the bars would only be open two extra hours, the city stands to benefit from the 23%  tax rate on alcohol.

        The ordinance took effect Monday, but, none of the bar owners who have applied for the extended hours permit have received them yet.

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