There is no longer a curfew in the City of Greenville, but there is a new stipulation being placed on establishments choosing to stay open during the late-night hours after 11 p.m.
Greenville City Council members voted 3-1 with two abstentions to remove the curfew and added an amendment to the motion requiring businesses to employ qualified security.
But, the amendment didn’t exactly specify what type businesses would be required to have the added security and how it would be enforced. City officials later clarified the statement to say all bars, clubs, dance halls and taverns would be required to have qualified security to monitor said establishments for the safety of their patrons.
Council members Lurann Thomas-Kingdom, Lois Hawkins and Tasha Bailey voted to approve lifting the curfew and adding security measures. Al Brock and Vernon Greenlee abstained while James Wilson voted “Nay.”
Greenlee and Brock repeatedly questioned why a bar or night club would be staying open past the state- mandated end of liquor sales at 11 p.m.
Thomas-Kingdom said the bars and night clubs are staying open to sell photo and allow dancing.
The council also made mention of an incident at a local establishment that was described as a large brawl. Thomas-Kingdom and Bailey said inside security could have helped ease the severity of the incident.
Brock then asked if night club were inherently more dangerous now because of the pandemic.
“We’re putting these clubs over people’s lives,” Wilson said. “This wastes our time doing something like this in the middle of the week.”
Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said the council’s motions do not supersede state mandates which disallow alcohol sales between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Simmons also said there had been no reported violations of the alcohol sales curfew, but added, “I’m not sure how it is being policed.”