Van Aken District moves closer to allowing open container

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SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio-- Excitement is in the air in the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights.

On Monday night, Shaker Heights City Council voted unanimously to approve an outdoor refreshment area in the district.

“I think it adds a whole element to the district. We already have the best of local and regional retail shops. Now you can stroll the streets with an alcoholic beverage, attend an event, listen to live music, all with a beverage in hand,” said Jason Russell, general manager of the neighborhood.

During the week, people will be allowed to move freely with an open container from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m., and as late as midnight on the weekends.

“This is not an opportunity to bring in your own beer or wine, you have to purchase it from the vendors in the Van Aken District,” Russell said.

“We’ve been here since April and we’ve been waiting for this day,” said Keith Jackson, assistant general manager of Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink. Michael’s Genuine is new to Northeast Ohio.

“If the sun is out, our patio is full every single night. It’s a beautiful place to come, have a glass of wine, people watch,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, customers have been asking for this since they opened.

“This is a nice little community we’ve started here. This is the last step for the shops and the restaurants to really work with each other,” Jackson said.

According to Russell, the measure takes effect in late August.

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