A request for allow bars under the county’s jurisdiction to stay open until 2am came back before the Cass County Board of Commissioners this month. Robin Garner, owner of Tiki Time at Beaver Lake, went to the board with a formal request for a 2am closing time.
The Cassgram reports that in 2010 the state gave cities and counties the authority to decide if the local establishments in their respective jurisdictions can stay open until 2am. Bar owners always have the option to close their establishments earlier if they so desire.
Some towns, like Louisville and Nehawka, have approved the extra hour of on-sale. Some, like Plattsmouth, have not had a vote on the issue.
Garner had last been before the county board in April of 2011. A 3 to 2 vote kept the closing time at 1am.
In making his latest request, Garner said not allowing a 2am close is not preventing any drinking because he says there is a group that leaves Tiki Time around 1am and goes to other bars with 2am closing times—and then they drive back to eastern Cass County.
The current 1am closing time is also a competitive disadvantage, he said. Garner estimated 80% of his business is after 10pm.
Asked for comment, Cass County Sheriff Bill Brueggemann said he couldn’t see how anything good could come out of letting someone consume more alcohol legally later into the night. Brueggemann said it isn’t anything against Tiki Time—Garner runs a reputable business, he said’—“I’m just anti-alcohol.”
“(Garner) should have an even playing field,” said District 5 Commissioner Duane Murdoch.
A motion to allow the 2am closing failed on a 2 to 2 vote. Murdoch and District 4 Commissioner Dan Henry voted for it; District 1 Commissioner John Warsing and District 2 Commissioner Janet McCartney voted against it. District 3 Commissioner Jim Peterson was not at the meeting.
Following the vote, it was the general consensus of the four board members to consider the 2am closing again at a future meeting with all five commissioners present and after more research is done.