Last call (bar term)

Last call (bar term)

In a pub, a last call is an made shortly before the bar closes for the night, urging the to buy one last drink. There are various means to make this signal, like ringing a bell, flashing the lights, or announcing orally. In the UK it is called "last orders".

Last call times are often publicly regulated and vary widely globally as well as locally. Reasons to adopt such a policy include the reduction of noise development during the night, traffic accidents, and violence, as well as health issues resulting from prolonged drinking [] .

List of last call times around the world:


In NSW there is no specified closing time, although in residential areas bars are often required to close at midnight. In non-residential areas some bars are open 24 hours.

United Kingdom

From late 2005, drinking establishments could apply for licences to stay open and serve alcohol for 24 hours a day. This means that round-the-clock drinking (in England and Wales) is now a reality.

Within the first month of it becoming law, over 1,000 pubs, clubs and supermarkets had been granted 24-hour licences to sell alcohol. A further 40 per cent of premises had applied to vary their licences to either extend opening times by an hour or two, or to offer late food or entertainment. Many more establishments have since renewed their licences. In 2008/9 Scotland will join England and Wales when New Licensing Laws come in to effect.


* British Columbia - Last call is 2:00 a.m. provincially, however municipalities can raise last call up to 4 a.m. if they so choose. People may purchase "off sales" bottled beer and the like from local Pubs until 11:00 p.m.
* Alberta - Last call and sale of alcohol from a store is 2 a.m. province wide.
* Ontario - Last call is 2 a.m. province wide, although the province has the authority to grant waivers to allow closing at 4 a.m. during special events.
* Quebec - Last call is 3 a.m. province wide for establishments "serving" alcohol, while the sale of alcohol from a store is restricted after 11 p.m.

United States

Last call laws vary widely from state to state, and in most states, cities and towns are free to impose more restrictive regulations. Large metropolitan areas with many towns may have different laws for areas that are only a short distance apart. The following lists should not be considered exhaustive.

tate specific laws

*Alaska - 5 a.m.; while most cities restrict this further, some do not (primarily smaller Matanuska-Susitna Valley towns), and some villages are dry.
*Arizona - 2 a.m.
*Arkansas - 2 a.m.
*California - Last call statewide is 2 a.m.
*Connecticut - 2 a.m.
*Delaware - 1 a.m.
*Florida - Last call set statewide to 2 a.m., some cities have passed exemptions to the law, notably Tampa (3 a.m.), Broward county (4 a.m.) and Miami (24 hours in the Miami Entertainment District). Liquor store closing times vary by county.
*Georgia - Varies by county (most are set at 2 a.m., while others may have different times or no time at all). In Atlanta most bars are allowed to close at 2:30 a.m., but Underground Atlanta can operate until 4 a.m.
*Illinois - Anywhere from 1:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m., varies by county. Some counties can serve 24 hours.
*Iowa - 2 a.m.
*Kansas - 2 a.m. (in the 17 counties which allow bars without limitation)
*Maine - 1 a.m.
*Maryland - 2 a.m.
*Michigan - 2 a.m.
*Minnesota - 1 am in most of the state; 2 a.m. in Minneapolis/St. Paul; Liquor Stores Closed on Sundays, 3.2 beer may be bought in most grocery stores.
*Missouri - 1:30 a.m. in most of the state; 3:00 a.m. in specially-licensed establishments in the two largest metropolises of St. Louis and Kansas City, and their surrounding areas.
*Nebraska - 1 a.m.
*Nevada - There is no closing time; bars may stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
*New Hampshire - 12:45 a.m.
*New Jersey - While state law is 3 a.m. certain areas on the Jersey shore are considered resort areas and are allowed to serve alcohol up until 5 a.m.
*New York - Last call is 4 a.m. Although the New York State Liquor Authority, pursuant to subdivision eleven of section seventeen, states: where any rule has been adopted in a county on or before April 1st, 1995, further restricting the hours of sale for alcoholic beverages, such restricted hours shall be the hours, during which the sale of alcoholic beverages at retail for on-premises consumption shall not be permitted within such county. Nor shall any person be permitted to consume any alcoholic beverages upon any such premises later than one-half hour after the start of the prohibited hours of sale provided for in this section.
*North Carolina - Last Call is 2 a.m. statewide. On weekdays and Saturday alcohol can be sold beginning at 7 a.m., on Sunday alcohol sales begin at noon.
*Ohio - Last call is 2 a.m. statewide, although establishments may acquire licenses that allow them to serve until 2:30 a.m. Store-bought beer & wine sales stop at 1 a.m. Liquor over 40 proof may only be purchased in state-approved stores - sales stop at 10 p.m.
*Pennsylvania - 2 a.m. in taverns, 3 a.m. in membership-only clubs statewide. Sales may begin as early as 7 a.m. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board-operated liquor stores (known as "Wine & Spirits Shoppes", or commonly called "state stores") operate various hours, but never open before 9 a.m. and never close later than 10 p.m. About ten percent of state stores, most of which are near the borders of the Commonwealth, are open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Beer distributors must close by 10 p.m. and are not open on Sundays.
*Tennessee - 3 a.m.
*Texas - 2 a.m. Beer and wine via grocery sold until 12 a.m. Sunday to Friday, 1 a.m. on Saturday. Beer and wine can be sold in stores beginning at 7 a.m. Monday to Saturday, 12 p.m. on Sunday. Bars and restaurants may not serve alcohol before 10 a.m. on Sunday. Liquor stores closed on Sunday and cannot open before 10 a.m. or closed after 9 p.m. other days. [ TABC's Texas Hours of Liquor Sales]
*Vermont - 2 a.m.
*Virginia - 2 a.m.. Liquor stores (ABC) closed on Sunday, except for a few select stores. Beer and Wine via grocery sold until 12AM.
*Washington - 2 a.m. Liquor stores closed on Sunday, except for a few select stores. Beer and Wine via grocery sold until 2AM.
*Wisconsin - Last call is 2 a.m.. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, last call is 2:30 a.m.

City specific laws

*Albany, NY - 4 a.m.
*Atlanta - 2:30 a.m.; 4:00 a.m. in Underground Atlanta.
*Atlantic City, NJ - 24 hours
*Austin- 2 a.m.
*Bloomington and Normal, Illinois - 1 a.m. on weeknights, 2 a.m. on weekends
*Boston - 2 a.m.
*Buffalo - 4 a.m.
*Champaign, Illinois - 2 a.m.
*Chicago - 3 a.m. on weeknights, 4 a.m. on Saturday nights. A late license can be granted for special events, extending last call to 4 a.m.
*Cleveland - 2:30 a.m.
*Columbus - 2:30 a.m.
*Denver - 2 a.m.
*Florence, South Carolina - 2 a.m. for hard liquor, 3 a.m. for beer. This includes Sundays where any bar that is defined as a private club may operate 7 days a week, other wise last call is midnight Saturday night, until the establishment reopens for business on Monday.
*Granite City, IL. - Weeknights 2 a.m. Weekends 3 a.m.
*Indianapolis - 3 a.m.
*Lexington, KY - 2 a.m.
*Louisville - 4 a.m.
*Miami - 5 a.m.; Bars may stay open 24 hours, 7 days a week in the Downtown Entertainment District
*New Orleans - Bars may stay open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
*Pensacola, Florida - 3 a.m. (within city limits, 2 a.m. for county)
*Peoria - 4 a.m.
*Philadelphia - 2 a.m.
*Pittsburgh - 2 a.m.
*Providence - 2 a.m. on Weekends, 1 a.m. on Weeknights
*Rochester, New York - 2 a.m.
*Salt Lake City - 1 a.m.
*San Marcos, Texas - 12 a.m. Sunday through Friday, 1 a.m. Saturday
*St. Louis - 2 a.m. on Weeknights, 3 a.m. on Weekends
*Tampa - 3 a.m.
*Tuscaloosa, Alabama - 2 a.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday. Not required to close on Friday nights.
*Washington, D.C. - 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night, 1:30 a.m. other nights.

Other Countries

*Dominican Republic - 2 a.m. []

See also

* Alcohol laws of the United States by state


External links

* [ Last Call Fact sheet] - Facts about Last Call from the Marin Institute, San Francisco, California.

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