LYNN — Bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcoholic beverages will close at 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
The License Commission sent a public reminder on Tuesday evening, stating that it did not offer applications for an extension of operating hours this year due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Lynn. The board voted in October to finalize the decision.
The clerk of the licensing board, Debby Ginivan, said that the board also voted not to send out applications to businesses last year, again because of the pandemic and viral infections.
“The board decided not to do this last year as well,” said Ginivan. “It was the virus last year and it is the virus this year. It’s the same situation.”
Typically, the License Commission would send out applications before New Year’s Eve for businesses to apply for an extra hour of operation, in which they would be allowed to stay open until 2 a.m. instead of 1 a.m. Businesses would fill out the applications and go through different inspections to qualify for the extra hour.
Businesses have tried to navigate keeping their doors open and providing a safe environment that abides by public-health guidelines created by the city, state and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some bar and restaurant owners expressed disappointment about the decision, but acknowledged that this was done to keep people safe.
Rich Sullivan II of R.F. O’Sullivan’s said that he is disappointed about the extension not being offered this year but understands the board’s decision.
“At this moment of my life, anything that would help the business like this one hour would be beneficial, but it is what it is,” Sullivan said. “This is a matter of being safe.”
Rocky DiFillipo, the owner of DiFillipo’s Brickyard & Grill, said he understands the decision but said even with the extra hour, it would not make much of a difference toward helping their business.
“If COVID was not a factor I think the extra hour would help, but since our business is struggling so much as is, I don’t think an extra hour would even really matter,” said DiFillipo.
Both Sullivan and DiFillipo said that they hope the new year will be better for them and their businesses.