Is NYC considering banning happy hour?

In News by Carmel Lobello / April 30, 2012

After living in New York for a couple years one forgets most people don’t regularly pay $9 for a single drink. Throwing down to get drunk is just a painful reality for non-rich New Yorkers—like living in a building with a “mouse problem” or occasionally having to witness a man pee on a car outside your apartment. It’s disgusting—but that’s New York.

Naturally, the laughable cost of drinking at most bars in Manhattan (I’ve seen $9 Bud Lights) makes 5ish-7ish a sacred witching hour for broke, single people—particularly college students and post grad interns whose salaries are even more laughable than $9 drinks. At happy hour they can afford to get together “blow off steam” (or get puke-drunk and/or laid). It’s is their time—they’ve earned it.

So you can imagine these types won’t respond kindly if this weekend’s Post article claiming the Department of Health is considering outlawing beer and booze specials in NYC is true. As Pratt Senior (and one of our own poorly paid ex-writers) Colleen Stufflebeem put it, “Without happy hour, how am I supposed to economically get fucked up before my nighttime circus class? One does not take a circus class sober.”

The Post writes, “Sources said the happy-hour ban is being pushed by the agency’s marathon-running boss, Commissioner Thomas Farley, and is serious enough for one source to say the alcohol lobby had better find itself a good lawyer.”

But the Department of Health says otherwise.

Agency spokesman Sam Miller denied existing “plans to pursue any policy around discount-alcohol sale.”

But sources said the anti-booze sentiment at the agency has reached a fever pitch, with officials recently asking state officials about the “legality of liquor in ice cream,” referring to potent products infused with bourbon, rum and tequila.

While we certainly don’t condone outlawing boozy ice cream, we imagine it would go down a lot more smoothly than banning happy hour. New York is supposed to accept the world’s tired, poor and huddled masses yearning to breathe free. And that includes nighttime circus students.

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