What’s Up With Bars Closing at 11 PM? YAMU Speculates..

No excuse from the excise



So if you’re a bit of a party papol, you must’ve noticed that pretty much all bars and nightclubs in Colombo are closing down at about midnight. Everyone’s suffering, and everyone’s confused. There’s been no coverage in the papers and no official Government dictat, so us Scooby Doo types at YAMU decided to investigate. 



According to the Excise Department’s woefully outdated website, the permit fees per hour for private establishments selling alcohol are Rs. 250 an hour. Seeing as this website was probably curated last when the Portuguese still colonized the island, it’s no longer relevant. Until recently, it was Rs. 5000 per hour. Not too pricey, that’s like a fraction of what most bars/ restaurants would make a night. 

Post bra-flinging debacle, it appears as though the price has been firmly hiked to Rs. 75,000 flat after midnight (we’ve heard). Why?

Speculation Nation

It’s been borderline impossible to find out what’s actually going on. Bar/ nightclub owners are being understandably cagey, and the GoSL Excise Department won’t even answer their phones (and a couple of their numbers were actually disconnected). Here are our wild speculations in the face of colossal lack of information.

  1. The Excise Dept needs additional revenue to pay its phone bills
  2. Extra revenue was needed to hire enough translators to attempt translating the Finance Minister’s Budget speech. Some say they’re still at it.
  3. The Govt needs to get some extra cash to accquire the World’s Biggest Sapphire found in SL in order to re-enact the Titanic necklace scene.

  1. Some actual real reason involving the “”preservation of culture”” or political grandstanding. Which we guess we’ll never find out about.
  2. Someone confused bar with “”bra”” and tried to tax them all. 

We’re sorry if we haven’t helped at all. All we can factually tell you right now is that your usual watering hole may close by about 11 or 12 PM, but we hear this whole situation is hopefully going to be resolved within the next couple of weeks. Holla at us if you know more than we do. Happy partying!

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