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 Charleston City Council voted to move a law forward that could prohibit new bars and restaurants from selling alcohol past midnight. The ordinance went through its first reading Tuesday.

 "It only affects businesses that go into and apply for business licenses after the ordinance has been ratified," Police Chief Greg Mullen said. "We don't want there to be a proliferation of one type of business that then drives out others that might be interested in coming to the area."

 Kimball Brienza of O-Ku said they see the crowds coming in between midnight and 2:00 a.m. on weekends but said he's indifferent to the proposal.

 "In a smaller area, a lot of them are drinking alcohol later in the evening, we do need the safety precautions," Brienza said.

 It's important to note, police said bars like O-Ku would be grandfathered in and would not have to close at midnight.

 Chief Mullen claims the department is being proactive with the "entertainment district" of the peninsula.

 In the history of Charleston bars, 2:00 a.m. is relatively new. That ordinance to close at two went into effect in 2001, then last fall the entire county was mandated to cutoff at that time, making alcohol sales between 2:00-6:00 a.m. illegal.

 "When I first moved here the bars never closed," Brienza joked. "In my opinion, that was a good thing to shut the bars down at two. You kind of have to limit everybody's fun at some point where it can get a little out of control after awhile."

The ordinance will head to a second reading by City Council.

Image courtesy of WCBD-TV.