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Williamsburg EDA Recommends Outdoor Alcohol Consumption Areas

WILLIAMSBURG-The Economic Development Authority (EDA) for the city of Williamsburg is proposing the city add outdoor refreshment areas that would enable community members to imbibe in alcohol beverages along Duke of Gloucester Street.

On July 14, the EDA unanimously passed a resolution to establish outdoor refreshment areas, which would include a combination of dining, entertainment, office, residential, or hotel establishments located in a physically integrated outdoor setting that is or can be made pedestrian friendly.

The proposal is part of EDA’s goal to continue to develop “downtown vibrancy” by promoting shopping and dining downtown near Merchants Square, and comes on the heels of a new Virginia state law that permits localities to have designated outdoor spaces for alcohol consumption. The law went into effect July 1.

In addition to the Merchants Square area, other possible locations for the proposed outdoor refreshment areas include The Edge District, Midtown Row, and High Street.

The proposal will now go before Williamsburg City Council. The EDA is encouraging City Council and City Staff to consider the development of one or more outdoor refreshment areas “to attract and retain visitors, residents, alumni, and others to our hospitality centers, to promote tourism, economic development, tax revenue, and a sense of community.”

The City Council next meets on August 9. A public hearing regarding the new alcohol ordinance will be held prior to any final decisions being made.

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