POINT PLEASANT BEACH - Bars in Point Pleasant Beach will have to close at midnight starting in July under an ordinance approved by the borough council.
But a separate measure that would permit the bars to continue to stay open until 2 a.m. if they pay an extra fee aimed at funding additional police patrols was postponed last night.
Mayor Vincent Barrella told News 12 New Jersey, "We're not seeking to destroy the bars or tourism industry, just looking for well behaved visitors." Barrella also said he's open to further discussion adding, "We just have some disagreements on how to reach a happy medium."
The council approved the early closure in response to complaints from residents about bar patrons returning to their cars in the early morning hours with screaming, fighting and damaging property.
Some establishment owners in neighboring townships were surprised the ordinance passed and are concerned for the livelihoods of Point Pleasant Beach business owners.
"It will certainly affect their bottom line," said Chris Fahey, co-owner of Edgars Pub in Manasquan. "Not just for bars and restaurants, but smaller businesses that rely on the tourists."
The restrictions take effect July 1. Point Pleasant Beach may move up last call or charge bars Point Pleasant Beach Council passes 'last call' ordinance