Raleigh Leaders Consider Proposal for Open Containers for the Social District Downtown

Raleigh Leaders Consider Proposal for Open Containers

Raleigh Leaders Consider Proposal for Open Containers: City officials in Raleigh are debating the idea of establishing a social area where visitors may cruise the streets while sipping beer, wine, or a cocktail.

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The Economic Development and Innovation Committee of the city had a meeting on Tuesday to go over the details of the proposed social area along Fayetteville Street from the State Capitol to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

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Whitney Schoenfeld, coordinator of emergency management and special events for the city of Raleigh, said, “We don’t want an atmosphere like New Orleans or anything like that.”

The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control System’s licenced restaurants and bars would be able to sell open-container drinks to customers on the street from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week.

The proposed district is bounded by Dawson, Morgan, Blount, and South streets.

Moore Square and Nash Square are not included in the proposed district, whereas City Market is. The Red Hat Amphitheatre is a component of the proposed social district.

The city aims to identify the bounds of the proposed district with signs, so people know where they can and can’t grab a to-go drink and roam around downtown.

Raleigh Leaders Consider Proposal for Open Containers
Raleigh Leaders Consider Proposal for Open Containers

Businesses have the option of allowing patrons to bring in drinks from bars and restaurants. Drinks for takeout would be provided in special glasses that could hold no more than 16 ounces. By the suggestion, drinks for takeout cannot be served in glass containers.

To increase foot traffic in downtown Raleigh, the city’s social district was originally intended to be implemented by the end of the summer.

The best-case scenario, according to Bill King, president and CEO of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, is that it encourages visitors to stay in the city centre for longer periods.

On July 5, the Raleigh City Council is anticipated to vote on the proposed social district. It might begin as early as August 15 if the proposal is approved by city council members.

Both trash and loudness are a source of concern. After the first six months, Raleigh city council members would receive an update on the plan’s performance, should it be accepted.

At-large city council member and chair of the Economic Development and Innovation Committee Jonathan Melton said, “Let’s start here, let’s gather the information, let’s make the modifications we need and then this one can continue and if other regions of the city want it, we can put them elsewhere.”

Social districts are already in place in several North Carolina cities, including Greensboro, Hickory, Kannapolis, Monroe, Newton, Norwood, Salisbury, and Sylva.

Other towns in the state, such as Albemarle, Charlotte, Durham, High Point, New Bern, Waynesville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem, are also thinking about implementing social districts.

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