Edgartown extends summer bar hours

Ralph Stewart

Edgartown selectmen at their regular Tuesday meeting adopted new alcohol regulations that will allow bars to remain open longer this summer.

At the recommendation of police chief Tony Bettencourt, selectmen unanimously agreed to extend closing time an extra half hour, from 1 am to 1:30 am, from July 1 through Labor Day. Last call will not change, but remain at 12:30 am.

“It takes a large crowd that might be in one of the establishments, it gives them a little time to trickle out, we might not get that big rush,” Chief Bettencourt told selectmen.

Selectmen also unanimously agreed to extend last call and closing time during the July 4th holiday weekend.

On Wednesday through Saturday that week, bars can serve alcohol until 1:15 am, and close at 2 pm.

“During fireworks, especially,” Chief Bettencourt said, “some of these establishments downtown are empty. After the fireworks, everyone comes rushing downtown to try to get into the restaurants. It seems like a short period of time and they’re kicking them out on the streets, then we’re running around with noise complaints.”

Chief Bettencourt said he made the recommendations after talking with police officers, and downtown business owners.

“We’ll give it a try,” Chief Bettencourt said. “If it becomes a problem, we won’t do it next year.”

Also Monday, selectmen voted to transfer a seasonal liquor license held by Nectar’s to the Flatbread Pizza Company, which has operated a restaurant at the nightclub near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport for the past two years.

Flatbread owner Jay Gould told selectmen last week that he intends to buy out the interest of Nectar’s, and will continue to stage music at the venue, but on a smaller scale.

Selectmen also approved a street license for Martha’s Vineyard Excursions, a charter company that wants to apply for a state tour operator’s license. Selectmen granted permission to conduct tours on Beach Road, Upper Main Street, Edgartown-West Tisbury Road, and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. The license does not include any downtown streets.