One extra hour to party

Ben Wolford

When daylight-saving time ends, Halloween celebrations won’t.

Clocks fall back at 2 a.m. Sunday morning to 1 a.m., and bar owners downtown say they’ll stay open the extra hour.

“Sweet. Some good news for me,” said Corbin Rispoli, a Ray’s employee who doesn’t have to work on Halloween. “That means I get an extra hour of sleep, too. I have to work in the morning.”

Ray’s, the Water Street Tavern, the Zephyr, Mugs and Dominick’s will all be open until it feels like 3 a.m. Sunday.

When the extra hour of revelry has occurred in the past, though, bar owners said patrons wear out or go home before their time is up.

“They just get tired,” said Mike Beder, Water Street Tavern owner since 2001. “Their internal clocks are telling them it’s time for bed. I think people are sometimes unaware of it, also, so they start heading home.”

Charlie Thomas, Ray’s owner of almost 32 years, corroborates that story. “They’re kinda worn out.”

He said Halloween is one of the bar’s peak business nights (behind Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day), and they’ll do a little more business in that extra hour.

It won’t be anything groundbreaking, though.

“It’s an hour more of sales, so it’s definitely a nice boost,” Beder said. “But it’s not, like – even though that hour technically is between 1 and 2 – it’s not necessarily an hour of prime time.”

Dan Smith, Kent economic development director, said holidays like Halloween don’t have a direct economic effect on the city.

Rather, “the number of people that come down here of all ages for Halloween get to see what’s down here, including the new Phoenix Project,” Smith said. “And I’m sure a large number of them will come back.”

Beder said the Water Street Tavern will probably set its clocks back an hour at the beginning of the night to relieve any confusion about how late they’re open.

“People’s internal clocks are kind of pre-programmed to be done at 2:30,” Beder said. “It can create some funny situations where you can tell someone is ready to go home, but God forbid they leave the bar before they’re asked to leave. You get some people nursing the same beer for the last 45 minutes.”

Contact public affairs reporter Ben Wolford at [email protected].