9 Reasons The Mayor’s Letter To Newport Bars Has Us Scratching Our Head

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5. Finances

There’s a reason that bars that don’t open before 11am…noon…even 4-5 pm open up early on Parade Day. There’s money in it for them. If they could open their doors at 8am and immediately make thousands of dollars an hour any other day of the year, we’re sure most would. Unfortunately for local businesses, they’re not responsible for the demand for their services on Parade Day.

Asking businesses for forgo thousands of dollars in sales with no real incentive is an interesting approach. Unrealistic…but interesting. Now, if the offer was “Stay closed until the parade kicks off and we’ll knock five grand off of your property taxes”, that might get some consideration.

6. It’s Anti-Industry

Here’s some simple math:

15-20% on the price of a pint of Guinness > 15-20% on the price of a cup of coffee

Servers, bartenders and everyone else in Newport’s restaurants are going to be working their asses off on Saturday and hopefully they’re going to be compensated rather well for it. Asking them to keep their beverages non-alcoholic for a few hours will put a pretty big dent in those tips, assuming that people come in the door.

After all, there are other options…

7. House Parties

People in bars aren’t playing beer pong with grain alcohol at 7am. People at house parties do (or, at least, they have). When you’re at the bar, it’s unlikely that you’ll walk in, be handed a handle of Foxtrot Bravo and be told to chug while everyone else counts to see how you compare with the current record. That is not out of the realm of possibility at a private party.

Once again, bars and restaurants are only supplying a demand. If they don’t provide food and beverages, then everyone will stock up for the evening before at off-premise prices. Bartenders, bouncers and the like are trained and responsible for making sure people aren’t terribly over-served. This is why it’s a rare occasion for someone to decide to strip down and dance naked at Newport bars…but your cousin Earl does it every year at that apartment on Spring St.

8. It’s intimidating

Should restaurants who might have business before the council be concerned if they’re planning to start slinging brews at 10am on Saturday? Would that cost them a chance at an entertainment license? Probably not, but is it’s not really something that Newport entrepreneurs should have to worry about.

9. It places the responsibility for misbehavior on the wrong people

When the letter refers to “the inappropriate behavior of individuals”, the key word is individuals. Some people are jerks. Why should the rest of us be asked to restrain our fun on one day out of the year because someone who we have no familiarity with came into town and dropped the f-bomb in front of a group of kids?

Now, if someone does something illegal, by all means, throw the book at them.

In conclusion…

If the town of Newport wants to bring a radical change to Parade Day, we can go through that process, but dispatching a communique to a bunch of business owners who have suffered through a terrible winter and attempting to coerce them into forgoing income that they have every legal right to, in a time frame where they have little ability to change what they’ve already planned is not the best way to affect change.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Parade Correspondent

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Tristan's just this guy, ya know?