Oslo’s nighthawks can soon drink alcohol at outdoor cafés in the midnight sun, and until 3am indoors, if the Labour Party-led city government gets its way. Those living near bars and cafés may not like the noise, but city officials think it’s a good thing.
“Folks want a diverse nightlife, and we don’t want everyone to only be downtown at the same time,” said Geir Lippestad of Labour, a former defense attorney who now serves as Oslo’s top city politician in charge of business issues. “We also want folks to be able to have fun near where they live.”
That means closing hours will be extended, also for cafés and bars in residential areas, until 3am. The definition of “inner city” will be expanded so that several areas outside of downtown can keep serving alcohol until 3:30am. Outdoor serving will end at midnight instead of the current 11pm.
“That’s great,” exclaimed Jon Demred, patron of a café in Grünerløkka, told state broadcaster NRK. “We live in the far north, where it’s daylight until very late at night, and then it’s nice to sit outdoors as long as possible, especially if you smoke.” Smoking is no longer allowed indoors at any bar, café or restaurant.
The city’s proposal for extended opening hours is now out to hearing, and hasn’t yet been approved.