Find balance between good times, good night

Bay St. Louis draws crowds with its downtown scene.
Bay St. Louis draws crowds with its downtown scene. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

The Bay St. Louis City Council on Monday night turned to the people for advice on bars and music.

Good move.

There is some disagreement about what time bars should close and how late they should have music. Some at the meeting suggested bars close at 10 p.m.

That’s unreasonable.

Some bar owners oppose any restriction on their hours of operation. That’s not reasonable, either.

Somewhere between the two, there has to be common ground.

The bars and taverns downtown and in the Depot District have played a big role in the city’s recovery from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Onerous restrictions on their hours and music aren’t the way to repay them.

Balancing the bar owners’ need to attract business with the neighborhood’s need for a good night’s sleep won’t be easy. But a group of bar owners and residents formed by the City Council should be able to get it done.

The Bay is an important player in the Coast’s tourism scene. The solution should keep it as fun-loving and vibrant as ever.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.