I encourage alcohol-serving restaurants to open downtown

Published 5:07 pm Friday, April 29, 2016

Two weeks ago, the Bainbridge City Council discussed an exemption to the alcohol ordinance that would allow restaurants within the Central Business District (a.k.a. downtown) to sell alcoholic beverages.

As it currently stands, any location within 300 feet measured by a straight line to the front door of a church, school, government-owned treatment center or liquor store is prohibited to sell alcohol. This Tuesday, the Bainbridge City Council will have a public hearing to consider adding the exemption to the ordinance.

As a 25-year-old man always looking for something to do, I say Bainbridge residents should fully embrace opening more restaurants that serve alcohol, especially downtown.

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Amanda Glover and the Downtown Development Authority are doing a fantastic job of improving the appearance of downtown and planning events that bring folks to the square. The Farmers’ Market is looking to grow even bigger this year and generate hustle and bustle on Saturday mornings.

The most obvious next step is an element that is the key to a thriving downtown: a nightlife.

We can continue planning daytime events, opening more shops and improving the aesthetic of the area. That train is chugging in the right direction. But if Bainbridge wants to see younger people returning home after college, a sense of energy and excitement in the community and a healthy boost to the local economy, creating restaurants and bars can do all of that.

I hate to see downtown dead after 5 p.m. Shouldn’t that be when people are loosening their ties and looking for fellowship, laughter and entertainment? Having restaurants and bars downtown that are serving alcohol will create more Downtown Street Dances, encourage more living opportunities for young professionals to be move back home and close to the excitement and encourage more growth overall in Bainbridge.

It can all start on Tuesday at the Public Hearing. Opening new restaurants downtown will only help Bainbridge grow. Let the City Council know that.