If 70% of Bay Staters had it their way, happy hours would again become a fixture in Massachusetts, according to a new survey released by MassINC.
And broken down, of the 1,453 residents surveyed, 38% are strongly in favor of Happy Hour, 32% are somewhat in favor of it and 20% are opposed.
Massachusetts was possibly the first entire state in the country to ban happy hour in 1984 after a 20-year-old woman Died In a driving accident after a happy hour in Braintree. Around this time the drinking age was also raised from 20 to 21.
Previous attempts to speed up the issue lost steam on Beacon Hill, but restaurant owners are hopeful the pandemic may give the needed push to bring back the good hour.
“We are all suffering greatly, and at this point in time, nothing (the government) can help us,” said Donato Frataroli, who owns Il Molo in Boston and Victory Point restaurants in Quincy. “It’s a great idea to bring it back.”
To avoid drunk driving and other accidents, the servers are well trained not to over-serve anyone, he added.
However, not all restaurants are eager to bring Happy Hour back. Gordon Wilcox — who has owned restaurants in Boston for more than 30 years including Tip Tap Room, Parish Cafe and Bar and The Rattlesnake — said he never attended happy hour at any of his restaurants, even before the ban took effect. took.
“It was only for one reason: to get drunk,” he said of happy hours past. “There’s no other reason to drink like this. I don’t like serving people like this, I never would.
He said insurance rates, bar fights, drunk driving accidents and arrests would all likely increase should happy hour return to Boston. “It’s going to be hell for the police,” he said. “There’s nothing good in that.”
Currently, a handful of other states, including Vermont and Rhode Island, have also banned happy hour in some form. Happy hour restrictions were lifted in both Kansas and Illinois over the past 10 years.
Illinois’s New Happy Hour rules Still ban two-for-one drink specials and drinks as rewards for games like trivia nights, and only allow 15-hour-per-week Happy Hour pricing.