Prague’s city center has long faced late-night noise problems attributed to drunk and rowdy tourists, and a noise meter recently installed at one offending location seems to have only exacerbated the problem.
But bars and restaurants in the city center may have mandatory closing hours enforced upon them in the near future.
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Prague officials voted in favor of a Decree on Restricted Operating Time for bars and other establishments on Tuesday morning. It would allow individual Prague districts the ability to define and enforce mandatory closing hours in select locations within their districts.
According to Prague 1 officials, affected areas would be Dlouhá, Dušní, Jakubská, Kozí, Malá Štupartská, Masná, Michalská, Rybná, and V Kolkovně streets in the Old Town city center. Businesses would be required to close by 2:00 in the morning on weeknights, and 3:00 in the morning on weekend.
While 2:00 in the morning might sound like a reasonable closing time for most, it could spell trouble for late-night establishments like Chapeau Rouge on Jakubská and Harley’s Bar and James Dean on Dlouhá, which routinely stay open until 5:00 in the morning or later.
“Some streets of Prague 1, unfortunately, have turned into a big club during the night that makes more noise than during the day,” says ČSSD councilor Daniel Hodek, as reported by Novinky.cz.
“Citizens write us petitions, and daily complaints about the nightly state of the streets are routine. The Decree on Restricted Operating Time in the most exposed locations could at least partially calm the situation.”
There are an estimated 800 establishments serving alcohol in Prague’s Old Town area alone. The new Decree is estimated to affect hundreds of businesses.
Before it will become law, however, individual districts and members of the community will have the chance to discuss it during a commenting period.