Almost sounds like a joke: How do you solve the problem of drunken behavoir at closing time? Maybe eliminating closing time will help.
Actually, it might. Has it ever made sense that cities dump their heaviest drinkers out on the street at the same hour? (Recognizing, of course, that plenty of bars simply choose to close earlier for their own business reasons.) Maybe allowing them to stay open until things wind down, which may be later than 1 or 2 a.m., would make more sense.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn seems to be up for exploring the idea. He launched it today, not as a hard proposal but as the opening of a discussion.
It's just one piece of what his group at city hall is calling the Seattle Nightlife Initiative. Altogether: "1. Code compliance enforcement. 2. Flexible liquor service hours. 3. Noise ordinance enforcement. 4. Security training requirements. 5. Precinct community outreach. 6. Professional development. 7. Late-night transportation alternatives. 8. Targeting public nuisances."
Which taken together has a sensible ring to it, at least as a core set of efforts.