New Year’s Eve, which falls on a Saturday night this year, will essentially be treated as a Friday night as far as liquor sales and operating hours are concerned, according to the Liquor Licensing Board of Grand Cayman.

The board confirmed Tuesday that operating hours for bars, restaurants and hotels will be extended to 2 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1, and that those establishments may sell alcohol until 1:30 a.m.

Operating hours for nightclubs will extend until 4 a.m. on Jan. 1, with alcohol sales being allowed until 3:30 a.m.

Typically, all liquor sales and music and dancing at licensed premises end at midnight every Saturday in Cayman.

Gas station liquor license

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A liquor license for a gas station convenience store on Shamrock Road was approved Tuesday by the liquor board. Rubis station owner Gary Rutty said the convenience store, named “Peanuts,” that is attached to the petrol station will sell only beer and wine when it opens in a few weeks. The small shopping complex on Shamrock just east of the Hurley’s parking lot also has a Burger King restaurant next door.

Three local liquor store owners raised objections to the application, claiming the new liquor license for the Rubis station would open a “Pandora’s box,” encouraging petrol stations and other local retailers to enter the alcohol business.

Mr. Rutty’s attorney, Cline Glidden, Jr., said the liquor sales application was made for one property only and that the liquor store owners were merely trying to protect their current “monopoly” on the market.

Nightclub hours

The board on Tuesday also granted an opening hours extension for all nightclubs until 4 a.m., Monday-Friday. Liquor sales at those establishments will be allowed until 3:30 a.m. on those days.

The nightclub owners had asked to extend liquor sales hours until 3:45 a.m., but the board decided on 3:30 a.m. Some nightclub owners thought the extension had been in place since June, based on an erroneous press release issued at the time. This resulted in some establishments attempting to stay open past the current 3 a.m. closing hours Monday-Friday and being told by police they had to close down.

The board said a press release announcing the change in nightclub hours would be sent out this week to confirm the new opening times.

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