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City’s arts, entertainment district established

News Staff Writer

An ordinance establishing the City of Atmore Arts and Entertainment District, given a first reading by the city council on December 11 and council approval on January 8, is now part of the city code. But there are still logistics to be worked out before the district is in full swing.
According to the ordinance (which appears in its entirety, along with a map of the district, on Page 2A of this edition), the district must have “not fewer than four retail alcoholic beverage licensees” and “may not exceed one-half mile by one-half mile in area.”
The new district includes portions of North Main, Ridgeley, Carney and Church streets, as well as a few other, smaller areas. Municipal records show there are currently four such licensees within its perimeter: The Publican, The Coffee House, Gather and Grizzly Pizza & Wings.
The ordinance allows patrons of taverns, bars, restaurants or other district establishments that sell alcoholic beverages by the drink to take their drinks outside the place where they were bought. It also allows them to consume the beverages in a special 16-ounce “to-go cup” as they walk around inside the district’s boundaries, but only from 4 p.m. until midnight.
Each business must obtain an entertainment district designation from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board and must otherwise adhere to all state laws, rules and regulations that govern such premises.
Establishment of such a special district has been successful in other cities, and local governmental officials are certain it will be here. According to the ordinance, they feel the district “will benefit the downtown area” and is “in the best interest of the City.”