ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News 1) — A new ordinance will allow residents and visitors of downtown Chamblee to drink outside. City leaders say it’s all about promoting social activity and pedestrian traffic in the newly expanded recreation district.
New open container rules will come into effect on July 1 and cover Ingersoll Rand Drive and McGaw Drive.
“This is a great opportunity to increase the visibility of our downtown businesses and events,” said Chamblee Mayor Brian Mock. “We expect patrons and businesses in the downtown entertainment district to drink responsibly and adhere to our guidelines for the district.”
According to the city, those purchasing alcohol from licensed establishments in the area should heed the following guidelines:
- Alcohol is only allowed outdoors between 9am and 10pm near the Chamblee downtown entertainment district
- Alcohol licensing agencies in the district are required to dispense alcohol in clear plastic cups. The business’ logo and name should be clearly visible on the cup with a sticker authorizing the beverage to be served outdoors by the city.
- Mixed drinks containing alcohol cannot exceed 12 fluid ounces. Malt beverages or wine cannot exceed 16 fluid ounces.
The ordinance also states that establishments in the area must post signs at the door if they allow people to leave their business with a drink.
“The law requires customers who leave the premises with alcoholic beverages to dispose of them before 10pm and before leaving the downtown entertainment district. Anyone in possession of an unopened alcoholic beverage outside the zone or within the zone after 10pm , or possessed in an unauthorized container, are in violation of city regulations and may result in a citation and/or fine,” the city website says.
“I do think it’s going to be difficult to manage, but I don’t think it’s our problem,” said Steve Samnadda, who lives nearby in the area. “I think it might be a good idea. I do understand why they’re doing it because they don’t want everyone to come in and hang out with their own drink, but I don’t know how they’re going to execute it,” Samnadda said. “Anyway, I’m glad it’s an open door policy,” he said. “I think it will allow people to enjoy the whole of downtown Chamblee. We have all the open space and the ability to walk freely between the different institutions. It’s great for downtown Chamblee,” he added.
Atlanta News First spoke with Antiguo Lobo Mexicano and Agave staff who said they are preparing now.
“We’re ready. So, a lot of our glasses will now have lids,” says Jonathan Bazquez, assistant manager and bartender at Antiguo Lobo Mexicano and Agave. “We cap them before handing them out. A lot of people sometimes ask them to give them a margarita without the cap, but we say no. You have to put the cap on, and once you get the cap, you can start Drank outside,” he said. “We’ve been preparing for that too, increasing our drinks, increasing our margaritas. There’s also a little sign. We’re going to start posting a sign at the bar that says takeaway margarita containers There has to be a cover, and then we also put a side on the outside,” Bazquez said.
That will provide a boost to business, Bazquez said.
“We’re really excited, especially me as the bartender. I think a lot of customers do come here and ask for take-out margaritas. It’s a really big area and people come from different walks of life. They’re not there sometimes Here to stay. It’s a great place to walk around,” says Banquez. “Walking around with a margarita in hand is great. So, people always come here and ask for a margarita, and back then, we were able to do that, so it increased our sales, “He said.
Chamblee joins Decatur, Kennesaw and Smyrna, which have enacted open container laws.
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