Council votes to expand downtown Montgomery entertainment district

The city’s new entertainment district: The Montgomery City Council approved three ordinances that will expand the boundaries of the entertainment district, allow open liquor containers and regulate private signage.

The Montgomery City Council unanimously approved a huge expansion in the boundaries of the city’s entertainment district.


It also unanimously approved two other ordinances allowing patrons to carry open liquor containers within the district and each business in the district to display an approved sign on pedestrian walkways within the area.

The ordinances took effect immediately after council approval.

The downtown entertainment district previously included a two-block area around The Alley, but not the riverfront or baseball stadium.

Starting north at the Alabama River, the new boundaries will include all of the riverfront to Railroad Street, Court Street to Randolph Street, Perry Street to Madison Avenue, McDonough Street to Washington Avenue, Perry Street to Adams Avenue, Lee Street to Church Street, Catoma Street to Bibb Street, and Clay Street to Holt Street and back to the riverfront.

A bill passed by the Legislature earlier this year allows a city the size of Montgomery to designate two entertainment districts that have an area no larger than one-half-mile by one-half-mile, said Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes. The districts can be irregularly shaped.

“We tried to be very inclusive and think through where the existing (liquor) licensees are located, as long as they were in close proximity to what we call the core of our entertainment activity downtown,” Downes said.

The open-container ordinance allows those who patronize establishments with liquor licenses to take open containers out of the facility as long as the person remains in the district and the container isn’t made of glass. The individual also won’t be allowed to take a container purchased at one facility into another.

The ordinance doesn’t allow open containers unless the alcohol is purchased in the district, but the language makes an exception for event holders that get special permits from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The ordinance imposes a $100 to $500 fine for violating the glass container law.

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