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Lexington expanding ordinances for ABC permits

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- The Brewer's Kettle is one of the newest businesses to open in Lexington's Uptown district.

It's a business that wears many hats -- part wine shop, part retail store.

"We do have a bar with 14 to 16 beers on tap," co-owner Kim Nichols said.

"We also have hoodies,” she said. “We sell T-shirts."

It's one of four hybrid businesses that have opened there in the past year, meaning it sells merchandise or offers services along with having a bar.

"We're seeing bars go into a lot of businesses,” said Tammy Absher, director of business and community development in Lexington. “A lot of salons have a bar."

To keep up with the growth, city leaders are expanding its ordinance which deals with businesses getting their ABC permits.

The current ordinance only has rules for private clubs, restaurants and bars.

"The ordinance was very outdated compared to what we saw happening in the community," Absher said.

She says the ordinance will now include wineries, microbreweries and hybrid businesses.

"There are a lot of creative concepts that are coming out, just new business that didn't exist 10 or 15 years ago,” she said.

Absher says the change will make it easier to set rules for like how far the business has to be from a neighborhood, school or church or which district it can go in.

"Just take the guesswork out of opening a new business in Lexington,” Absher said. “Take less time, be less confusing."

Business owners like Nichols, who opened her shop in October, say the changes will open the door for even more businesses.

"We really look forward to being on the edge of the growth," Nichols said.

The changes will go before the city's planning board on Monday.

There's also a public hearing on the ordinance March 12.

Absher says after that, it goes before the city council for approval. ​