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Bars allowed later New Year’s hours

Abbotsford will allow some local drinking establishments to stay open late on New Year’s Eve.

Local bars called on the city to extend New Year’s hours to 2:30 a.m. instead of 1 a.m., allowing them to compete for patrons on the busy holiday night.

A report from city staff stated that because of the 1 a.m. closing time, local bars are at a disadvantage to businesses in other communities for the holiday evening. It also said the extension will allow people more time to celebrate in Abbotsford and give residents the option to celebrate locally.

Staff consulted with Abbotsford police, who have no concerns about the extension, which would only be permitted to bars in compliance with the Bar Watch program standards.

The bars that applied include the Highwayman Pub, Cheers, Abbey Road Restaurant and Taphouse, Sneaker’s, Finnegan’s Pub and Phoenix Lounge.

The report stated that the city may incur minor policing costs, not expected to exceed $2,000.

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