City Denies Extended Hours at Bars for NBA All-Star Weekend, Only Seven Hotels Open til 4 a.m.

Architect's rendering of the Cleveland Westin
Architect's rendering of the Cleveland Westin
Cleveland residents and visitors who wish to imbibe past standard hours during NBA All-Star weekend will have to do so at one of seven hotels authorized by the Bibb administration, the city has announced.

Though the city received 87 applications from businesses within the city limits that wished to remain open until 4 a.m. on the evenings of Feb. 18, 19 and 20, the administration opted to restrict the waivers to hotels only. These hotels will legally be able to serve drinks until 4 a.m. in accordance with a state law passed in 2016 in preparation for the RNC.

The following hotels have been approved: The InterContinental, The Holiday Inn at Cleveland Clinic, The Hilton Downtown, The Hotel Indigo, The Metropolitan at the 9
The Westin Downtown, and Betts at The Kimpton Schofield Hotel.

Ah yes, the Cleveland Clinic Holiday Inn.

Not exactly prime locations for the sort of late-night festivity the NBA All-Star proponents and the starry-eyed economic forecasters envisioned. But in a press release Monday night, the Bibb administration said it had weighed the economic benefits of allowing bars to remain open with the City’s "public safety needs."

"After careful consideration and discussion within Mayor Bibb’s cabinet and the COVID-19 Task Force," the statement read, "the City recommended only the seven applying hotels to the State of Ohio Division of Liquor Control for extended hours waiver approval during NBA All-Star Weekend. The decision will allow for optimal public safety throughout the city, while also accommodating the needs of players and visitors to enjoy a meal after the evening’s official NBA events."

Interim Police Chief Wayne Drummond provided the following comment, after questions about why the bars were rejected now when they were permitted to remain open during the RNC and MLB All-Star game. 

“This is a different time from the RNC and MLB All-Star," he said. "We are in the midst of a pandemic that has had a significant impact on the City and its public safety protective services. While we want people to enjoy themselves, we must lead by example when asking citizens to enjoy themselves with caution."

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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