Three Cape bars will be staying open late on weekends

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Three Cape Coral bars are staying open until 3 a.m. starting Friday night.

They are Rack Em Billiards, Dixie Roadhouse and Back Streets.

“As long as you don’t have any people get hurt, that’s the big thing,” said Cape Coral resident Wally Guse.

Guse lives just blocks away and says he doesn’t mind the extra hour, but wants to make sure security is tight.

“I think that’s a good thing to have some officers around checking people out and if they are too drunk to drive,” he said.

And Cape Police say that’s exactly what they’ll be doing, with four more officers and one supervisor assigned specifically to the bar district.

“I think it kind of marks a little bit of a shift that we’re going to see in South Cape,” said owner Lynn Pippenger.

Pippenger owns Dixie Roadhouse and says they’re prepared with additional security watching who comes in and out of their bar. The additional hour isn’t a new thing in Cape Coral, but this time, it’s only until 3 a.m. and only on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Four o’clock, that’s two hours. I would probably not like that, but just an hour and the bars usually cut off a half hour before closing anyway, so I don’t think it’s a big deal,” said resident Jarold Heidgerken.

Bar owners like Pippenger say the extra hour also means extra money.

“Number of people coming over the bridge, number of people paying a toll, number of people going to the gas station,” Pippenger added.

This decision is permanent, but the city council will evaluate how it’s working and the cost of operating in one year.

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