Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Eliana Pintor Marin and John Burzichelli expanding the hours Newark Airport is allowed to serve alcohol was approved by the Assembly, 77-0-1, on Thursday.
Specifically, the bill (A-2419) would allow bars and restaurants operating within an international airport to sell alcoholic beverages between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 a.m. In New Jersey, this bill would only affect Newark International Airport.
“This move will serve as an economic stimulus and also provide more opportunities to help visitors cope with the rigors of travel,” said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). “The old saying, ‘it’s 5 o’clock somewhere’ couldn’t be more appropriate than at an airport where normal day-to-day routines don’t apply. It makes sense to extend these hours to better accommodate travelers.”
“This is a revenue generator and job booster, first and foremost,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex), who represents the City of Newark. “It will also help us better accommodate travelers from all over the world who are on different time schedules and in need of a way to relax or pass the time.”
“For many travelers, time is all relative. Someone’s morning may be someone else’s evening. Adults wishing to unwind or allay the fears of traveling should have greater freedom to do so, especially if it’s supporting the local economy,” said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem).
In general, a municipality may establish by ordinance the hours during which alcoholic beverages may be sold for consumption on the premises.
Consequently, Newark Airport is bound by the liquor laws of the City of Newark, which means the sale of liquor in bars and restaurants in the airport is allowed from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and from noon to 2:00 a.m. on Sundays.
This bill would establish extended hours of sale for retail licensees operating an establishment located within an international airport.
The measure now heads to the Senate for consideration. It would take effect immediately upon enactment.