Restaurants and bars can remain open beyond 10.30pm from Sunday to October 20, an order from the state government said on Saturday.
Till now, eateries and bars had to shut shop by 10.30pm.
“All shops, restaurants and bars may remain open as per the normal operational hours. Late closing of bars may be allowed as per the extant rules,” said the notification.
Restaurateurs interpreted “normal operational hours” as timings that they used to adhere to during the festive season. That means through the night for some eateries and till 2am for joints serving liquor.
Nitin Kothari, the owner of Peter Cat and Mocambo said: “This is an excellent order. On Monday, the next working day, we plan to seek an extension to serve liquor.”
The two places used to serve liquor till 1am on festive days.
Police said they were awaiting clarity on “normal operational hours”.
“The licence is different for different restaurants that serve liquor. We hope things will be clearer by Monday,” said an officer at Lalbazar.
Saturday’s order follows an earlier notification lifting the 11pm to 5am curbs of vehicular and public movement from October 10 to 20. But the order did not mention anything about bars and restaurants.
Two associations of hoteliers had written to the state’s chief secretary, seeking a similar leeway for eateries.
“It is a welcome move. We will push for an extension to serve alcohol from the excise department as soon as possible,” said Sagar Daryani of Wow! China. His outlet on Park Street had a licence to serve liquor till midnight and an extension would mean permission to serve liquor till 2pm.
“This is a great move that will boost sales of restaurants in this festive period,” said Shiladitya Chaudhury, the owner of Chapter 2 and Oudh 1590.