Hundreds of bars open until 4 a.m. during RNC

Special permit applies in and out of CLE
Posted at 7:56 PM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-17 08:26:21-04

Bottoms up! Bars and restaurants across Greater Cleveland will stay open until 4 a.m. during the RNC, an hour and a half later than state liquor permits allow.  

Hours will only be extended during the RNC—July 17-21.
Blue Point is one of the hundreds of restaurants and bars downtown that will be open late through the major event waiver. 
"Terminal Tower is going to look down and be very surprised that the city is rocking at 3:30 in the morning," Blue Point's General Manager, PJ Saracusa, told NewsChannel5. 
Blue Point is booked solid. A group is taking over the Cleveland favorite from 7 a.m. until 4 a.m. every day of the convention.
"The staff is gonna be around a little bit later, we are going to be here earlier. But for us, it's exciting. It's an opportunity," Saracusa said. 
Some of the other establishments approved are just down the street—Panini's, Barley House, Liquid and Dive Bar. 
Many more are in surrounding counties, outside Cleveland city limits.
Nineteen bars and restaurants will be open late in Westlake.  
Westlake Mayor, Dennis Clough, said it should be great for the city. 
"It will be good. It should be an economic burst to Westlake and Northeast Ohio," he said.
NewsChannel5 asked Clough if there are any concerns with alcohol being served longer and later. The Mayor said no. 
"We have a good group in our police department. If there are issues, we will be be able to respond. But we anticipate everyone having a good time," Clough said. 
Westlake Police sang a slightly different tune. 
"We have enough boozers here who are home grown, who get an extra hour and a half! No we guys 500 miles from home. Maybe they're not gonna use the best judgment at 11 at night when they're back," Westlake Police Captain Guy Turner said. 
Westlake police will ramp up staff, like other surrounding communities plan to. 
Police will keep a close eye on the bars and restaurants with extended hours. 
Captain Turner shared a message for locals and visitors alike: "Don't act stupid. This is a privilege. You've been selected for an important role, a presidential candidate. Not to come out here and get liquored up," he said.