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24 hour/late night restaurants closing earlier - Why?

24 hour/late night restaurants closing earlier - Why?
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  • 24 hour/late night restaurants closing earlier - Why?

    Post #1 - May 5th, 2008, 12:45 am
    Post #1 - May 5th, 2008, 12:45 am Post #1 - May 5th, 2008, 12:45 am
    It seems that everything is closing up earlier and earlier every time I blink. To name a couple places in my neighborhood, Pasadita used to be open all night, then they changed it to 3a.m. and now something like 1:30 now. Also Taco Veloz is the same story. I and they’re only open till 1:00 now. I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure that Pizza Metro has earlier close time now too. What’s the deal? Seems that I have nowhere to walk at night to eat anymore.
    Last edited by laikom on May 5th, 2008, 12:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - May 5th, 2008, 6:01 am
    Post #2 - May 5th, 2008, 6:01 am Post #2 - May 5th, 2008, 6:01 am
    laikom wrote:It seems that everything is closing up earlier and earlier every time I blink. To name a couple places in my neighborhood, Pasadita used to be open all night, then they changed it to 3a.m. and now something like 1:30 now. Also Taco Veloz is the same story. I and they’re only open till 1:00 now. I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure that Pizza Metro has earlier close time now too. What’s the deal? Seems that I have nowhere to walk at night to eat anymore.
    Flash taco? :) I think Pizza Metro closing early is actually a community service. If that place was never open again to inflict its pizza on the plight of the world it would be a godsend.
  • Post #3 - May 5th, 2008, 6:02 am
    Post #3 - May 5th, 2008, 6:02 am Post #3 - May 5th, 2008, 6:02 am
    I've never been, but there is Rock Star Dogs, open 'til 4 am. It's located at Ashland and Chicago.
  • Post #4 - May 5th, 2008, 6:45 am
    Post #4 - May 5th, 2008, 6:45 am Post #4 - May 5th, 2008, 6:45 am
    laikom wrote:What’s the deal?

    When restaurants cut back on their hours, in almost all cases, one or both of two things is/are happening. They're not getting enough business in those final hours to cover the cost of staying open that late, and/or they are having problems hiring and retaining the employees to work that late. (If the owner is on site at all times, his/her desire to cut back on his own hours is just a variation on that second reason.) Those two reasons can be affected by things happening in the neighborhood and/or globally, but those are the two reasons that directly impact their decision.
  • Post #5 - May 5th, 2008, 6:59 am
    Post #5 - May 5th, 2008, 6:59 am Post #5 - May 5th, 2008, 6:59 am
    I think this is a direct result of the smoking ban. People aren't staying out in the bars as late and the late-night restaurants are seeing a drop off in business, so they close earlier. This has happened nearly everywhere that a smoking ban has been enacted. The first casualty that I can think of is Jack's on Touhy. Formerly an all night staple, they started closing shortly after Skokie's smoking ban, which was the first in the area, went into effect.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - May 5th, 2008, 7:45 am
    Post #6 - May 5th, 2008, 7:45 am Post #6 - May 5th, 2008, 7:45 am
    Interesting Steve.
    What I hear is but for the economy, most of these places are doing better than before the ban.
    I personally have been to bars a lot more since the ban.
    The ban worked pretty well in Paris, New York, and the county of Ireland, so I think we should give it a bit more time.
  • Post #7 - May 5th, 2008, 8:26 am
    Post #7 - May 5th, 2008, 8:26 am Post #7 - May 5th, 2008, 8:26 am
    DML wrote:Interesting Steve.
    What I hear is but for the economy, most of these places are doing better than before the ban.
    I personally have been to bars a lot more since the ban.
    The ban worked pretty well in Paris, New York, and the county of Ireland, so I think we should give it a bit more time.


    In Ireland pubs are closing han over fist. Not just the smoking ban, but it does not help. Drunks are smokers. Bars need drunks to survive. If smoking is not allowed, drunks stay home.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #8 - May 5th, 2008, 8:29 am
    Post #8 - May 5th, 2008, 8:29 am Post #8 - May 5th, 2008, 8:29 am
    AngrySarah wrote:
    DML wrote:Interesting Steve.
    What I hear is but for the economy, most of these places are doing better than before the ban.
    I personally have been to bars a lot more since the ban.
    The ban worked pretty well in Paris, New York, and the county of Ireland, so I think we should give it a bit more time.


    In Ireland pubs are closing han over fist. Not just the smoking ban, but it does not help. Drunks are smokers. Bars need drunks to survive. If smoking is not allowed, drunks stay home.


    EVERYTHING is closing hand over fist. Welcome to the recession.
    My experience has been the opposite. Smokers make up 20% of the population, but they cause the other 80% to find things to do other than hanging out in bars.

    In any case, does it really matter? We shut down the asbestos plants for a reason, despite the loss of those fine asbestos jobs. We stopped using mercury despite the loss of jobs. We told people that they can't smoke in bars. Time to move on.
  • Post #9 - May 5th, 2008, 9:16 am
    Post #9 - May 5th, 2008, 9:16 am Post #9 - May 5th, 2008, 9:16 am
    DML wrote:What I hear is but for the economy, most of these places are doing better than before the ban.
    I personally have been to bars a lot more since the ban.


    You say that you've been to bars more frequently since the ban, but does that give you an accurate point of comparison? As a non-smoker, you've been going out more frequently, but how many smokers are staying home?

    The sad fact is, I think a lot of bars (and, as this thread points out, other places that cater to late-night folks) are hurting, and it's probably a combination of the smoking ban and the soft economy. I'm a recovering smoker, so while I appreciate the smoking ban, I also realize that there are people behind these bars and restaurants--owners who have poured their hearts, souls and wallets into their business--and it's sad to realize that the smoking ban may have the unintended consequence of killing someone's dream.
  • Post #10 - May 5th, 2008, 9:24 am
    Post #10 - May 5th, 2008, 9:24 am Post #10 - May 5th, 2008, 9:24 am
    Chgoeditor,

    What about the dreams of the poor asbestos producers? Why don't you care about their dreams? All they wanted to do was to produce insulation, and the government had to go shut them down.

    But back to the point: I have yet to see any studies that, factoring other matters out, shows a decline post ban.

    Further, when there are fewer bars with 4:00 a.m. licenses, the late night places are not going to do well. The 42nd ward of course has a moratorium on the late night licenses, and I've heard that is also happening in other wards.
  • Post #11 - May 5th, 2008, 9:27 am
    Post #11 - May 5th, 2008, 9:27 am Post #11 - May 5th, 2008, 9:27 am
    I can tell you for certain that the locl pub I hanged out at (Oak Alley Saloon in Palatine) has dropped at least half the business. On Sundays during football season it used to be hard to find a spot to sit. Now they are lucky if it is half full. The same goes for a couple other local pubs like lamplighters and Durty Nellies. The weekend business still seems packed but day to day operations I am sure have severely effected them.
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #12 - May 5th, 2008, 9:34 am
    Post #12 - May 5th, 2008, 9:34 am Post #12 - May 5th, 2008, 9:34 am
    Let me tell you, as someone who used to spend a TON of time in manhattan before and spent a lot of time after the smoking ban, it had no noticable affect on the lateness of bars staying open or a noticable drop off in business. The current economy has a lot more to do with business changes than smoking. Though theoretically people SHOULD be smoking less with the increase in taxation on cigarettes and the stagnation of real wages.
  • Post #13 - May 5th, 2008, 9:42 am
    Post #13 - May 5th, 2008, 9:42 am Post #13 - May 5th, 2008, 9:42 am
    davecamaro1994 wrote:...On Sundays during football season it used to be hard to find a spot to sit. Now they are lucky if it is half full.


    Didn't the smoking ban take effect in January? By then, wasn't football season almost over, especially for our beloved local team? Is there football on now? I can't see how a comparison of Sundays during football season with Sundays now would be relevant.
  • Post #14 - May 5th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Post #14 - May 5th, 2008, 9:46 am Post #14 - May 5th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Not in Palatine. Been banned since last year about this time
    Dave

    Bourbon, The United States of America's OFFICIAL Spirit.
  • Post #15 - May 5th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Post #15 - May 5th, 2008, 9:46 am Post #15 - May 5th, 2008, 9:46 am
    In some ways Chicago has been an early to bed town for a long time, at least since the puritanical Daleys started cleaning up vice in the 50s, ensuring that corruption would only be of a non-sexual nature here... when I moved here I remember being staggered that Field's in Water Tower closed up at 7 pm, when my ex-fellow Wichitans had two more hours of strolling the aisles at Penney's or Dillard's ahead of them. Other cities have or at least had legendary 24-hour record stores and things like that-- not Chicago. I'm sure the smoking ban is part of it, but it's a much longer trend in other ways.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #16 - May 5th, 2008, 10:13 am
    Post #16 - May 5th, 2008, 10:13 am Post #16 - May 5th, 2008, 10:13 am
    Mike G wrote:Other cities have or at least had legendary 24-hour record stores and things like that-- not Chicago. I'm sure the smoking ban is part of it, but it's a much longer trend in other ways.


    Does Chicago have record stores :?:

    On a whole I disagree with this point. After all, few cities DO have 4 AM bars, but anyways, I've noticed a signficant drop in the business at Caffe Italia on Harlem since the smoking ban went into effect.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #17 - May 5th, 2008, 10:30 am
    Post #17 - May 5th, 2008, 10:30 am Post #17 - May 5th, 2008, 10:30 am
    The observations and anecdotes of individuals who visit a small handful of bars, a few times a week at most, are not going to answer this question. We need real data on a large number of bars, both before and after the ban. Otherwise - like the famous NY'er cartoon - we're all just huffin' and puffin'.
  • Post #18 - May 5th, 2008, 10:44 am
    Post #18 - May 5th, 2008, 10:44 am Post #18 - May 5th, 2008, 10:44 am
    Darren72 wrote:The observations and anecdotes of individuals who visit a small handful of bars, a few times a week at most, are not going to answer this question. We need real data on a large number of bars, both before and after the ban. Otherwise - like the famous NY'er cartoon - we're all just huffin' and puffin'.


    Here's a whole bunch of data

    And more data

    A Google search will turn up even more, but when I made my original post, the data I was relying on were actual reasons that previously all night restaurant owners have personally given me for starting to close earlier.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - May 5th, 2008, 11:00 am
    Post #19 - May 5th, 2008, 11:00 am Post #19 - May 5th, 2008, 11:00 am
    stevez wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:The observations and anecdotes of individuals who visit a small handful of bars, a few times a week at most, are not going to answer this question. We need real data on a large number of bars, both before and after the ban. Otherwise - like the famous NY'er cartoon - we're all just huffin' and puffin'.


    Here's a whole bunch of data

    And more data

    A Google search will turn up even more, but when I made my original post, the data I was relying on were actual reasons that previously all night restaurant owners have personally given me for starting to close earlier.


    I'm sorry. I meant RELIABLE facts.
    The smoker's club as the source of facts? You have got to do better than that.
  • Post #20 - May 5th, 2008, 11:02 am
    Post #20 - May 5th, 2008, 11:02 am Post #20 - May 5th, 2008, 11:02 am
    DML wrote:Chgoeditor,

    What about the dreams of the poor asbestos producers? Why don't you care about their dreams? All they wanted to do was to produce insulation, and the government had to go shut them down.


    I have less sympathy for the asbestos producers, since most of those were large corporatations. But the fact is, people worked for those companies, lost their jobs, and may have lost their pensions, too. I feel compassion for all of these people...when they applied for a job or opened a business, they probably didn't say to themselves, "I think I'm going to make lots of money doing something that could kill people." But we learn new things, popular sentiment changes, the tide turns, and all of a sudden these people find themselves working at a place that's out of favor. The end result is sad and sometimes tragic. Yes, it's also sad and tragic when someone loses their life to these products.
  • Post #21 - May 5th, 2008, 11:06 am
    Post #21 - May 5th, 2008, 11:06 am Post #21 - May 5th, 2008, 11:06 am
    chgoeditor wrote:
    DML wrote:Chgoeditor,

    What about the dreams of the poor asbestos producers? Why don't you care about their dreams? All they wanted to do was to produce insulation, and the government had to go shut them down.


    I have less sympathy for the asbestos producers, since most of those were large corporatations. But the fact is, people worked for those companies, lost their jobs, and may have lost their pensions, too. I feel compassion for all of these people...when they applied for a job or opened a business, they probably didn't say to themselves, "I think I'm going to make lots of money doing something that could kill people." But we learn new things, popular sentiment changes, the tide turns, and all of a sudden these people find themselves working at a place that's out of favor. The end result is sad and sometimes tragic. Yes, it's also sad and tragic when someone loses their life to these products.


    Let me get this right: All of those people employed producing asbestos matter less, since they worked for Johns Manville?

    This has nothing to do with "out of favor." Instead, it has to do with living in a civilized society, where we don't make people work in jobs that will kill them.

    The upside is that in doing the right thing morally, we are also doing the right thing fiscally since there is no evidence that the bans have hurt business.
  • Post #22 - May 5th, 2008, 11:15 am
    Post #22 - May 5th, 2008, 11:15 am Post #22 - May 5th, 2008, 11:15 am
    We've veered way off-topic here folks.

    Here's the original question again:

    It seems that everything is closing up earlier and earlier every time I blink. To name a couple places in my neighborhood, Pasadita used to be open all night, then they changed it to 3a.m. and now something like 1:30 now. Also Taco Veloz is the same story. I and they’re only open till 1:00 now. I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure that Pizza Metro has earlier close time now too. What’s the deal? Seems that I have nowhere to walk at night to eat anymore.


    If there are any new answers, about restaurants, by all means post, but we're not going to rehash the smoking issue or, uh, asbestos production.

    Thanks,

    Aaron
  • Post #23 - May 5th, 2008, 11:15 am
    Post #23 - May 5th, 2008, 11:15 am Post #23 - May 5th, 2008, 11:15 am
    While I can see the smoking ban hurting the business of the no frill's bars, where the locals drank and smoke cigarettes all day, it has no effect on the bar's of bucktown/wrigleyville/Lincoln Park. I think the reason some of those older hangout/neighborhood bars are suffering may have to do with the fact their clientele is getting older and not always able to make it to sit at the bar and waste money from their wallets, which are also suffering. Combine the price of those two packs of cigarettes with a days worth of booze from the local watering hole and all of a sudden youve spent $40/$50 when you could spend half by sitting in your living room.

    taco burrito palace #2, taco burritto express, Lincoln ave pizza, Clarke's diner, weiners circle and a handful of others are still open late or 24 hours and have not made the change. I too am not a cigarette smoker and I go to the bars double the amount of times I did before the ban. I actually enjoy going to the bar to watch a game now that I dont have to be nauseous from cigarette smoke by the 2nd quarter/inning or whatever, its not like 85% of the world are smokers.

    also the restaurants that cater to the late night crowd also cater to the annoying, belligerent, rowdy and shady drunk crowd. I imagine its hard to find workers that enjoy working into the wee hours all while dealing with these people. Maybe they just said enough and decided the stress wasnt worth it from staying open til 5am.
  • Post #24 - May 5th, 2008, 11:23 am
    Post #24 - May 5th, 2008, 11:23 am Post #24 - May 5th, 2008, 11:23 am
    Mike G wrote:In some ways Chicago has been an early to bed town for a long time, at least since the puritanical Daleys started cleaning up vice in the 50s, ensuring that corruption would only be of a non-sexual nature here... when I moved here I remember being staggered that Field's in Water Tower closed up at 7 pm, when my ex-fellow Wichitans had two more hours of strolling the aisles at Penney's or Dillard's ahead of them. Other cities have or at least had legendary 24-hour record stores and things like that-- not Chicago. I'm sure the smoking ban is part of it, but it's a much longer trend in other ways.


    Mike, unless you are from Seville, Paris, Vegas or New York, describing Chicago as an early town does not resonate with me. For better or worse, I've spent a lot of time in other cities looking for places that are open in the wee hours, and Chicago stacks up pretty well. Maybe you are looking for too nice a place to eat/drink :wink:
  • Post #25 - May 5th, 2008, 12:00 pm
    Post #25 - May 5th, 2008, 12:00 pm Post #25 - May 5th, 2008, 12:00 pm
    I think there are too many other factors at play that make it nearly impossible to say whether or not bars/restaurants are experiencing a slow-down because of the smoking ban.

    First, there's the economy. Also, the ban went into effect in January, giving us a very very small time horizon to examine the issue over (let's see some numbers after a year, two years, etc). Also, January/February/March were terrible months weather-wise (let's see some numbers that include summer months). Who wants to go out when the windchill is 30 below zero?

    I guess what I'm saying is, there are any number of reasons late-night spots could be cutting back on their hours (many of which could also be unique to the facts and circumstances facing each individual business).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #26 - May 5th, 2008, 12:23 pm
    Post #26 - May 5th, 2008, 12:23 pm Post #26 - May 5th, 2008, 12:23 pm
    In any case, per the moderator, back to the topic:

    With regard to the late night restaurants -- is the ban on 4:00 a.m., bars just in 42, or is the rest of the city doing the same? My impression (again, I know only my ward) is that far more of the late night bars are closing than opening. Without late night bars, you are going to see less people in late night restaurants.
    I also wonder how many of these restuarants rely on bar patrons for clientele. Are numbers of overnight shift workers decreasing generally in this economy?
  • Post #27 - May 5th, 2008, 12:27 pm
    Post #27 - May 5th, 2008, 12:27 pm Post #27 - May 5th, 2008, 12:27 pm
    davecamaro1994 wrote:I find it funny that most of the people speculating on this topic have probably not even been in a bar after midnight in the last 5 years Most of us are old(er), married, and really don't hit the 4am bars. If you did you would pull up and see the mass of people in the alleys huddled together and smoking in the freezing cold the last few months. You would think they were criminals smoking crack. At least that is how the government portrays them.
    I don't have to speculate, I know this is affecting businness and I will be more than happy to talk to the local owners at the places I frequent and back that up.
    Most, but not all :)
  • Post #28 - May 5th, 2008, 12:33 pm
    Post #28 - May 5th, 2008, 12:33 pm Post #28 - May 5th, 2008, 12:33 pm
    Can anyone point me to studies about how the smoking ban has affected restaurant phone reservation systems? If so, perhaps we can merge this thread with this one.
  • Post #29 - May 5th, 2008, 12:35 pm
    Post #29 - May 5th, 2008, 12:35 pm Post #29 - May 5th, 2008, 12:35 pm
    I don't think I have explicitly recommended this site but her goes; the BEST place I have found online for (non food) discussions like this are the forums attached to the Straight Dope website which is Cecil Adams' column in the Reader.

    www.straightdope.com

    Click on "Great Debates" and post a thread, You will get a refereshinlgy high signal to noise ratio set of responses. I'm sure it has been discussed before as well there.

    You can argue to your hearts content as long as you aren't a jerk (their basic rule) with some pretty smart people. I post there as MikeG (yeah I know, it's weird for me too but that's been my name there since 1999).
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #30 - May 5th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Post #30 - May 5th, 2008, 12:45 pm Post #30 - May 5th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Kennyz wrote:Can anyone point me to studies about how the smoking ban has affected restaurant phone reservation systems? If so, perhaps we can merge this thread with this one.

    Good one! Anyhow, sorry the post strayed from topic, since it may have been partially due to my vague title (which I've now changed). I actually never though of the smoking ban effecting late night bars. However I can say with conficence that any 4:00 a.m. bar in my area is pretty much guaranteed to fill up right at 2:00 when the other bars close. Frankly I don't care much about the bars, but I do love late night munching. I guss I'm going to have to move to a little korean soon.

    In regards to some of the suggestions. (and i know pasadita isn't great, but they do have good black salsa). I don't care much for flash taco, is there something there that you'd recommend? Never been to rock 'n' roll dogs place, I've never been one for rock 'n roll themed restaurants, but would you recommend the food?

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