Restaurants around Cleveland will be able to serve alcohol later than usual during the Republican National Convention thanks to a law passed last year. Businesses have to apply as part of a qualifying major event.
According to the Division of Liquor Control, 437 license holders in 55 cities and townships have been approved for the extra hours during the RNC.
Senator Tom Patton of Strongsville says while it designed in part for the Republican National Convention, he doesn't expect it will be used often.
“We might go years again, who knows, before it happens again, or we might get three opportunities that it happens in the next year. But it’s not something that’s going to be used on any kind of a regular basis. It’s very, very unique that the circumstances that would offer the ability to qualify for it.”
Only large events or conventions in cities of 350-thousand or more will trigger the law, with local oversight.
Patton says the law will help Ohio compete for conventions.
“The cities like Chicago and New York on a 365-day-a-year basis have their bars and restaurants open until 6am in the morning. One of the reasons why they dominate as far as getting conventions there is for that reason, I’m told.”
That law only covers Columbus and Cleveland. Patton says he'd be willing to revisit the law to include Cincinnati.