Bring Happy ‘Hour Back’ in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Legislature is considering bringing back the ability for bars and restaurants to offer special pricing incentives on alcoholic beverages, such as the "happy hour" promotion.
Laws were passed 40 years ago to ban the practice in an effort to restrict alcohol consumption and reduce drunk driving and the related carnage resulting from the crime.
The driver of the proposal is State Senator Julian Cyr, who represents Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard on Beacon Hill.
The Cape and Islands bring in millions of tourists who are shocked when they first arrive to discover the prices of alcoholic beverages are mandated by law to be higher than most of their states, specifically to control their behavior.
Massachusetts long ago said goodbye to to Mike Dukakis but the former governor is still lurking over every bartender and customer in the Commonwealth.
You can buy an ounce of marijuana in state-licensed stores and go home and smoke until the television is speaking directly to you, but it is the end of civilization if you and your friends get a two-for-one discount on margaritas in Hyannis or Edgartown.
The proposal would allow cities and towns to opt in and customize their own rules for the return of "happy hour." Obviously, places like Boston, Springfield and Worcester would have a different approach than the towns on Cape Cod and the SouthCoast, and this proposal allows for that.
This resurrection of "happy hour" is a long way from happening at this late hour in the legislative clock, however – especially with Governor Charlie Baker not on board with the change.