Hoboken bars allowed to serve alcohol at 5 a.m. during women's World Cup

The city of Hoboken has approved a change to its liquor license serving laws, allowing bars to begin serving drinks at 5 a.m. to appease World Cup fans. 

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup kicks off July 20 in Australia and New Zealand, and the bars are pushing to open up at 5 a.m. instead of their usual 11 a.m. to offer a full slate of games for soccer lovers to indulge and imbibe before dawn. 


Orlando Castilla, the manager of Black Bear, is excited about the change. 

"Everyone loves soccer," Castilla said. "Fill the bars at 5 a.m., believe it or not."

Rodalfo Carrera, the manager of Madhatter, is also ready for the early-morning crowds. 

"We are that type of bar, we can handle it," Carrera said. 

The change in liquor license serving laws is a chance for the bars to capitalize on the excitement of the World Cup and cater to soccer fans who want to watch the games live. 

With the change in place, Hoboken bars are gearing up for what is sure to be a busy few weeks of early-morning soccer. For soccer fans, it's a chance to indulge in their passion and enjoy a few drinks before the sun comes up.


The change in liquor license serving laws means the bars, which typically close around 3 a.m., will effectively turn into 24-hour businesses. 

But for Castilla, it's a small price to pay for the excitement of the World Cup. 

"I see people camping outside bars waiting for qualifiers. People will come at 5 a.m.," Castilla said.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the change, however. Some city council members are concerned the early-morning crowds will impact quality of life. 

But for the folks at the Mad Hatter on Washington Street, it's about more than soccer – it's about support. 

"Part of our team, Maria, is in England right now doing tryouts for the U.S. team," Carrera said. 


The ordinance states bars can start serving drinks at 5 a.m., but there can be no outside mingling or partying before 10 a.m. 

Additionally, bars will have to pay a $100 registration fee to participate in the earlier start. 

Despite concerns about the impact on quality of life, bars are preparing to open early for the World Cup. 

For soccer fans, it's a chance to indulge in their passion and enjoy a few drinks before the sun comes up.