You can now get an alcoholic drink to go in Raleigh. The new rule goes into effect as of 11 am Monday. The North Carolina capital city officially has a social district where open containers of alcohol are permitted. Residents and visitors will be allowed to walk the streets in a select downtown area with a drink purchased at a bar or restaurant. The district will be “open” each morning at 11 am through 10 pm each night.
The social district will include the area centering around Fayetteville Street between the State Capitol Building to the Duke Energy Center. It will spread outward enough to include the city’s “boutique amphitheater” Red Hat Amphitheater (the same size as Charlotte’s CMCUA). Dawson, Morgan, Blount, and South streets are the rough border of the area. Signs will be around the area to let visitors know where the open containers are permitted.
Glass containers will not be permitted and it’s not BYOB. The permitted restaurants and bars will sell alcohol in plastic cups to those wishing to take the drink with them. City leaders hope this will bring more people to the downtown area.
What About Charlotte?
Is this what Charlotte needs to do to help revitalize our downtown that was been suffering? This is due to a combination of thriving other areas and the Covid-19 pandemic keeping workers at home. It is currently being talked about in several areas including Uptown, South End, Noda, Plaza Midwood, and Camp North End among others. In fact, the idea will be discussed tonight at a city council meeting that is open to the public.
North Carolina first permitted the idea of having a social district in cities and towns in 2021. So far Greensboro, Kannapolis, Monroe, Newton, Norwood, Raleigh, Salisbury, and Sylva have created districts. Charlotte and several other cities like Durham, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem are considering the idea. While the districts have strict rules compared to cities like Savannah and New Orleans I think it could be a great thing for Charlotte. It could help draw people to other areas and make restaurants and bars a little less crowded. Plus especially in the spring and fall being able to stroll with a drink would be fantastic! And as someone whose second home is Raleigh I can’t wait to experience this firsthand there.