Berkeley approves extending hours of Telegraph businesses

April 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Berkeley city leaders are encouraging businesses on Telegraph Avenue to pull an all-nighter -- permanently. The City Council voted to extend operating hours for businesses in the area of Telegraph Avenue between Bancroft Way and Dwight Way, next to the UC Berkeley campus.

Right now 2 a.m. is the latest a business on Telegraph can stay open, but in a matter of weeks, some of them could be operating around the clock. Many Cal students like the sound of that.

"If we're not heading into the city or something like that, there's always something that we're looking to do," said Krutika Dave, a Cal student.

In just one month, businesses on Telegraph Avenue between Bancroft and Dwight Way will be allowed to stay open 24 hours without having to pay a fee or having to go through a lengthy city permit process. It's part of Berkeley's attempt to revitalize the neighborhood -- a four-block stretch plagued by vacancies. The owner of the decades-old Moe's bookstore hopes it will bring much-needed change.

"Even before the 60s there was a whole beatnik scene here too and it definitely had a nightlife, so it would be nice to bring it back," said Doris Moskowitz, the Moe's bookstore owner.

The change applies to any business that wants to take advantage of it, from drugstores to restaurants. Pappy's Grill and Sports Bar says it's seriously considering staying open 24 hours.

"A lot of times students come here to study and so forth so if we can provide a late-night safe option for students to come here and study and have a really nice, reasonably priced bite to eat, I think it would be something that we would be very interested in," said Alex Popov, the owner of Pappy's.

But not everyone's excited about the possibilities. Cal student Michael Chiu lives in an apartment on Telegraph.

"It's going to be a lot of noise at nighttime and it's going to be really hard to sleep, so I'm pretty against that," said Chiu.

Yet despite such concerns, city leaders are moving ahead. They are also considering even more changes to Telegraph that will cover everything from parking to music events.

"My support for trying this is based on the fact that this is what the people who live here have said they want to see," said Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington.

The City Council will vote on the next set of improvements at the end of this month.


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