A night out in the city; perfume in the air and expectations of a fun time. But can a night out even be possible in Berkeley? Most restaurants and attractions in Berkeley close between eight and nine p.m., with the rare exception of ten p.m. Even near the college campus, everyone is forced home, which leaves little opportunity for nightlife where high school and college students can enjoy themselves and stay out longer for a nice dinner. Berkeley restaurants and businesses must be open at a later time.
Adjusting the working hours of restaurants and businesses in Berkeley, particularly their closing times, would benefit the youth of Berkeley. When college students want to enjoy a night out, they attend frat parties or need to travel the long way to San Francisco.
Frat parties lead to a lot of dangerous situations, especially for high schoolers. While going to San Francisco for a night out every now and then might be a fun change of scenery, it is impossible to go often , considering transportation and the distance. This leaves Berkeley youth with very minimal options when it comes to going out.
“I think a nightlife in Berkeley would be healthy and a good thing for high school students to get used to, especially with college around the corner,” said Amaya Dorman Mackenzie, a Berkeley High School junior. “I know I would enjoy it if I could experience it.”
Restaurants staying open later could also provide a fun and non-partying alternative for teens and young adults. Rather than seeking out dangerous experiences and unhealthy habits, late night activities could be replaced by a fun dinner or other attractions.
However, this would not only be a positive change for the partying youth but instead in general for Berkeley residents and families. Knowing they have the option to use their day as they please and don’t have to rush to get food early would allow families to enjoy Berkeley fully and go out at a later time. This increases the appeal of Berkeley, giving it more nuance as a city for adults and youth.
Another concern is that Berkeley will lose its “charm” if it adapts a nightlife. However, this would actually protect youth by promoting healthier habits.
Keeping Berkeley open longer will also benefit the businesses themselves because it allows them to make more profits. People are out of work and students are out of school, which draws in bigger crowds for longer periods of time.
Berkeley must stay open longer. Investing in our city will inherently invest in our community. This would make Berkeley an even more desirable place to live with happier people.