Montgomery County task force pushes extending bar hours, live music

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - The American Tap Room in Rockville is tapped out. While its Reston location makes $100,000 a week, rigid Montgomery County rules keep this location from pulling in half that.

At about 8:30 p.m., the place dies and reportedly becomes a ghost town – despite the bar’s array of martinis and beverages.

Just one block over, Bar Louie says county rules send young people everywhere but here, and that they cannot quite keep up with more urbanized and fun areas like Clarendon, Crystal City, Georgetown or U Street.

"Especially for young people that are trying to meet young people, it's almost impossible," said Montgomery County councilman Hans Riemer.

As a result, a Montgomery County task force responsible for bringing more young people to the county is now recommending extending bar hours and loosening noise ordinances.

Formed by county executive Ike Leggett, the group is pushing 33 proposals that include offering tax credits for businesses that provide live music and encouraging street performers.

The task force was created to attract young people ages 20 to 34 to the county and to make the area more competitive with D.C. and even Arlington County, according to The Washington Post.

"Who is attracted to great dining, great entertainment?" asked Riemer. "It's your younger workers, it's your empty nesters. It's people driving the creative class, the economic engine of the region. And if we don't offer those amenities, then they don't want to live in Montgomery County.