RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s official. People will be able to walk around Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street area with an alcoholic beverage in hand, starting August 15th.
City council unanimously approved the city’s first social district Tuesday afternoon.
This vote has been a long time coming.
City officials first discussed the possibility of creating a social district at the end of February.
“I know this item has been of particular interest to many,” said Councilmember Jonathan Melton during the afternoon council meeting.
Launching the social district is something that some people, especially local business owners, were hoping would become a reality.
“Hopefully if it works on Fayetteville Street, they’ll put it on this side of town too,” Wesley Alexander, the General Manager of Glenwood South’s Hibernian Irish Pub.
City leaders largely agreed on a roughly 20 block radius, surrounding Fayetteville Street, where sipping and shopping would be legal from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily.
Councilmembers made some last minute adjustments during the meeting.
“After receiving feedback from downtown businesses and the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, I’m going to make a friendly amendment,” added Melton.
The amendment adds a couple of blocks to the social district’s boundary lines.
“It extends the social district slightly into a small portion of the Warehouse District by Red Hat,” explained Melton. “A couple of businesses over there were heavily involved in this public process and were initially left out.”
Councilmembers are still working with people in the community to nail down more details.
“[We’ll continue to] examine social district boundary lines, [continue] outreach with the community, examining methods to mitigate trash and litter within the district and exploring alternate methods of signage,” said Melton.
There will be a status report on the pilot social district presented to council in early 2023, to see how well it works and if further adjustments need to be made.
Council had previously discussed the possibility of adding other districts in the city in the future.