The 4 a.m. closing time for bars in Cape Coral isn’t dead yet.

After voting to end the extended bar hours pilot program, Cape Coral city council has now put it back on the agenda and will reconsider it Monday.

People of all ages attended the CRA advisory board meeting on Friday expressing support for both sides. In the end, members voted 3 to 1 in favor of continuing the extended hours. That recommendation now goes to the CRA board and then the city council.

It’s just a vision now, but by early summer, Big Blue Brewing will be a reality.

“We’re going to have live music. We’re going to have covered outdoor seating. We’re going to have a full bar,” said Dan Termini, director of operations at Big Blue Brewing.

The owners chose 47th Terrace for a reason.

“There’s been a rebirth down here in south Cape, and a lot of new concepts that are coming out,” said Termini.

One of those new concepts is a 4 a.m. closing time. But that’s off the table for now.

“The reason I have so much trouble with the ordinance was that it was tied to hiring five additional police officers,” said council member Jessica Cosden.

Cosden is asking the council to reconsider the pilot program, and change the ordinance to ask bar owners to pay for police.

It’s something that was discussed passionately at the CRA advisory board’s public meeting.

“If they can get that changed and we can compromise, I don’t see why there should be so much opposition,” said Lynn Disomma, bar manager at Dixie Roadhouse.

Some of that opposition doesn’t see a compromise. They don’t think four extra weekend hours will change whether people come to the Cape.

“Cut it off at two. Why do you need to go to four? You’re asking for trouble,” said Lynn Rosko, a Cape Coral resident.

At the end of the meeting, the advisory board sided with a later closing time.

Now, it’s up to council if the later closing time will stay.

Both Backstreets and Dixie Roadhouse started to fill up Friday night on what could be the final weekend of late night hours.

Employees of Dixie handed out fliers and asked people to sign a petition while encouraging them to contact council members who voted to end the pilot program.

They also wore shirts asking to keep the South Cape open late, and people are pledging their support.

“I’m supporting signing the petition and staying open until 4,” said one ally.

Management at Dixie Roadhouse told us they’re hoping to pack the council chambers. They want to send the message that they believe the South Cape bars should be the ones deciding whether they want to stay open until 4 a.m.

This Saturday will be the last night the bars stay open that late. Council will meet Monday to discuss the extension again.





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