Officials believe earlier closing time may help prevent violence near lounges

Posted at 8:40 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 23:40:29-04

The city of Bakersfield is looking to put a curfew on hookah lounges, and Monday was the first step to making it a reality.

City officials met to discuss options and have decided on an ordinance that would group hookah lounges with places that sell alcoholic beverages and play music. This would happen under a revision of the "Cabaret" permit to include places that allow tobacco to be ingested.

Under the permit, the city can determine when those businesses will close, and many officials said they would push for a 2 a.m. closing for hookah lounges.

Now the revision will move through city ranks and could be passed by the end of the year.

The push for a change comes from the Bakersfield Police Department reporting over 500 calls in a five year span at a hookah lounge on California Avenue that closed earlier this summer.