GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — You’ll soon be able to sip an alcoholic drink while you stroll through downtown Greensboro after the city council approved a social district that goes into effect on March 1, 2022.
Customers at bars and restaurants will be able to carry open cups of wine, beer and mixed drinks on sidewalks and streets in a defined area downtown.
Along with the district, council members approved a list of regulations in a 7-2 vote on Tuesday night.
Customers will only be able to walk with their drink from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Drinks will have to be 16 ounces or less and marked with the restaurant or bar that sold it inside the district.
If you buy a drink at one place, you’ll have to throw it out before going to sit down at another establishment.
“It’s really progressive for Greensboro…to allow open container in the downtown area. Really utilizes businesses. Makes it a social atmosphere. Kind of reminds me of a European feel for sure,” said Christine Fry, general manager at Lawn Service by Little Brother Brewing.
Customers are already able to buy wine and beer from the kiosk at LeBauer Park and drink in the vicinity.
“We already mark our (cups) with Lawn Service and the Little Brother logo, and the Lawn Service is very distinguishing, knowing this is for LeBauer Park,” Fry explained.
Signs will mark the district from First National Field to Gate City Boulevard. LeBauer Park is included. Center City Park is not.
‘Cille and ‘Scoe restaurant owner Christopher Reaves hadn’t heard about the ordinance before Wednesday afternoon.
He’s looking to capitalize on his outside space and says the new rules can help.
“I think it’s wonderful…being on Elm Street, we get a lot of foot traffic. Even before we opened. Just being out here working on the space. We had a lot of people stop and inquire…so bringing even more foot traffic downtown to this area is wonderful,” Reaves said.
Councilmembers Sharon Hightower and Dr. Goldie Wells voted against the measure.
“I don’t know if we have enough ambassadors and enough policemen keeping up with everyone that’s not thinking right, so I’m having second and third thoughts,” Wells said Tuesday night.
City staff members plan to work with business owners ahead of the March 1 change.
“This format is not ne. We’ve had festivals previously such as our Folk Festival and Fun Fourth. We didn’t see any major issues during those times. And as anything else, we will monitor. If we have incidents that might present themselves as not safe, then we’ll address those issues,” said Assistant City Manager Nathaniel Davis.
Retail stores that do not want to have outside drinks in their stores can opt out.