HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — As you head out for the High Point Rockers’ opening day, there’s going to be a new element added to the experience that fans can enjoy.

Starting Thursday, people can walk to-and-from some nearby businesses with an alcoholic beverage in hand.

It’s called the social district and it’s similar to what has already been done in places like Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

People won’t be able to take cups into places that already sell alcohol, they will have to be tossed before entering those businesses.

While only a few businesses are participating right now, business owners who aren’t within the district said the program adds to the overall growth of downtown High Point.

“{It’s great} to watch it flourish and become something even greater than a just market,” said Brandi Crumly, owner of The Blooming Board.

While the City of High Point is known for its furniture market, that’s not the only thing that downtown business owners say they want to be known for.

“You’ve got the Rockers, Stock + Grain, Congdon Yard. There’s tons of stuff downtown,” Crumly said.

These days what’s giving downtown High Point a new lease on life is the social district that kicks off Thursday—opening day for the High Point Rockers.

Right now, Plank Street Tavern is the only ABC-approved business where you can purchase drinks and walk throughout the district.

“It makes it feel like we’re in a fast pace, growing community,” said Pam Hubay, owner of Plank Street Tavern.
It’s a community Hubay and her husband decided to invest in back in 2019.

Hubay said the social district program gives nearby businesses the boost they need to revitalize the area, bringing in more businesses like their own.

“For now, there are only two (breweries), but we hope to have more breweries, more craft cocktail places, restaurants, shops, boutiques. All sorts of things,” Hubay said.

In the coming weeks, The Blooming Board will add to the social district allowing people to purchase wine, beer and champagne to go.

For now, “You can purchase an adult beverage from someone else and come inside and get a grab-and-go charcuterie box from us. We have a full retail store as well. So, you can sip and shop,” Crumley said.

The district includes parts of Church Street, Elm Street and English Road surrounding the stadium.
That means the businesses on Main Street aren’t in the social district.

“A lot of the focus was about safety and crossing this main street environment, which we completely understand,” said Steven Owen, Manager at Paddled South Brewing Company.

Owen says they’re glad the city is considering safety but hopes that the city will look at making downtown more walkable so Paddled South can be added to the social district.

“We want to make sure that we’re growing it in any way we can and partnering with people who…are in the district, and we are not because they’re still our business partners. Because if it’s growing everywhere, it’s growing with us as well,” Owen said.

The food hall, Stock + Grain Assembly, which is included in the zoning of the social district is expected to open sometime in May.

Congdon Yards is also in the social district and allows people to bring their beverages inside until they get approved to sell alcohol according to officials there.