To the editor: Either Josh Stephens is trying to be funny or is totally naive about how the proliferation of bars affects public safety and neighborhoods. While he decries the onerous burdens imposed on poor bar owners by the state and local municipalities, he is dismissive of any burden imposed on police and neighbors. ("In L.A., thirsting for a decent bar culture," op-ed, April 8)
When you put bars (those locations serving minimal food, staying open until late at night and offering live entertainment) near residences, the end result is often problematic. Even bars away from homes add to our public safety costs with constant calls for police service. Keep in mind that bars allowed to open with few restrictions under a wonderful, caring owner can be sold later and become a significant problem.
Based on my experience as a liquor regulator, it can take thousands of taxpayer dollars and years of legal action to close down one of these neighborhood headaches. No one in L.A. will go thirsty if we stop issuing new liquor licenses tomorrow.
Carl Falletta, Yorba Linda
To the editor: I like my martinis, Manhattans and single malts as much as the next person, maybe more. But have I ever thought for one second there was a dearth of opportunities to imbibe in Los Angeles. Trendy bars and the age of mixologists have exploded here and in San Francisco and I'm sure across other states.
Los Angeles doesn't need more bars, our "drinking culture" isn't eroding, and the alcohol industry doesn't need an op-ed article to help with its marketing.
Richard Karliss, West Hollywood
To the editor: Stephens gives short shrift to the huge problem of nuisance. As a person driven out of my apartment by a noisy bar, I can attest that the only effective approach is prevention.
The problem is that in Los Angeles, most neighborhoods do not have a commercial core but, rather, business-lined streets adjacent to homes. Once in place, the din of a bar and late-night screaming and shouting become uncontrollable.
Unless the city retains reasonable peace and quiet in urban areas, having more bars will be another reason to flee to the suburbs.
Dan Silver, Los Angeles