WSAZ | Charleston, West Virginia | News

UPDATE: Outdoor Beer Ordinance Brewing in Downtown Charleston; Sent to Committee

UPDATE 3/5/12 @ 11:20 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston City Council on Monday night sent a proposal to limit outdoor beer sales to its Planning Committee.

Additional details will be worked out there.

If it does get the final go ahead, outdoor beer sales would only be permitted downtown -- not on the East End or the West Side.

The ordinance was set for only a first reading at Monday night's Council meeting.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- With business booming inside, Adelphia and other downtown restaurants want to expand outside.

“Everybody wants to be outside on a nice day,” Tracy Abdalla, Adelphia’s general manager, said. “People like to have their beverage of choice, so a lot of people are really rooting for this to happen.”

An outdoor beer ordinance is brewing in downtown Charleston. Restaurants with no outdoor space want permission to sell alcohol to customers on the public sidewalk. That could cause controversy, so City Council is looking for ways to regulate it.

“It will only be people that serve food, dinner; like restaurants,” Councilwoman Mary Jean Davis said. “There probably are some bar areas that will question that and want to know what they can do, but they'll have to meet certain criteria.”

Also, the hours would be limited from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Plus, the area would have to be enclosed by a barrier that nobody could climb over or crawl under.

Another stipulation is that there must be several feet of sidewalk space so people can still walk by.

Because of state regulations, Davis says the ordinance only includes beer -- not wine and liquor. Restaurants hope that will change.

“I don't want to limit people's choices,” Abdalla said. “If everybody acts responsibly, there's no reason why that should be a problem.”

If passed, outdoor beer sales would only be permitted downtown, and not on the East End or the West Side. If successful, it could expand to include those areas as well.

The first reading on the ordinance is Monday night. It will then go to a committee.


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