Businesses in a four-block stretch of Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue will soon be able to operate 24 hours a day without a special permit.
The new ordinance, which was already approved by the city council, will allow businesses to operate 24 hours a day starting May 2.
Alex Popov, the owner of Pappy's Grill and Sports Bar on Telegraph Avenue, said he likes the new ordinance and he has plans to operate around the clock.
Pappy's, a popular spot for University of California Berkeley students, has operated on Telegraph Avenue for 17 years.
"We'd consider offering breakfast as early as 3 in the morning," Popov said. "We pay rent 24 hours so why not offer a service 24 hours a day."
The new ordinance is part of a larger plan by the city to revitalize Telegraph Avenue near campus.
Merchants, students and residents said a downturn in the economy and unsavory elements in the area have caused a decline in foot traffic, hurting businesses.
"We stay at the library till 3 or 4 a.m.," said Shady Elzarka, a UC Berkeley student. "Telegraph being open will make me feel comfortable."
But one resident said allowing businesses to operate 24 hours a day will only bring more problems.
"Underage drinking, partying late nights. I have a 2-year-old. I'm concerned about the noise," said Chante Guillory, a Berkeley resident.
The owner of Naan n'Curry told KTVU he plans to stay open later on Fridays and Saturdays, but the city needs to make more improvements so the area is more appealing.
Still, he said the new ordinance is a first step.
"It's good, I'm happy the city is doing something about it," said Sean Kureshi, co-owner of Naan n'Curry.
Additional changes that one City Council member is proposing include: improving lighting, holding live music events and bringing in workers to monitor public safety.
"We need activities that sort of create positive ambience," said Kriss Worthington, a Berkeley City Councilwoman. The City Council plans to vote on the additional improvements for Telegraph Avenue at the end of this month.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.