CLEVELAND – State lawmakers are looking at a proposed law that would make it legal to drink alcohol on public streets – at least in some areas designated ‘outdoor entertainment districts.’
Senate Bill 116 would allow Ohio towns and cities, with more than 50,000 people, to establish one to three outdoor entertainment districts. They must be smaller than a half mile and have at least four established bars and restaurants.
In Cleveland, E. Fourth Street would fit the criteria.
“Conceptually, I think it’s of great interest, certainly to a street like our own,” said Nick Kostis, owner of Pickwick and Frolic Restaurant and Club on E. Fourth Street.
“Sounds like a great place to be, where people are roving. It just sounds a little loose. I’m not sure how we maintain some civility and order, but that I guess will come,” Kostis said.
If the bill passes, local governments would be the ones to choose where the outdoor entertainment districts would be.
“I think it’s a great idea. It’s just going to bring more and more people to downtown,” Sarah Kilcoyne said.
The drinks would have to be bought from establishments inside the zone, and cannot be brought in.
“I don’t know; it could get a little bit messy if you have underage people walking around or kids. It’s not going to be a kid-friendly environment anymore,” Sabrina Sudman said.
S.B. 116 has not been voted on by the senate.