Leisure space thought-about for LR

Little Rock City Directors will have another opportunity during today’s meeting to approve a temporary entertainment district south of the River Market after deciding last month to postpone the action.

On the agenda of the board meeting is the resolution to create the temporary entertainment district Third Street for a period of 13 weeks.

According to the wording of the proposed resolution, the makeshift entertainment district would start on Wednesday and end on October 6th.

Boundaries would form a shape resembling a rectangle from the junction of East Second Street and River Market Avenues south to East Fourth Street, west from East Fourth Street to Cumberland Street, north on Cumberland Street to East Third Street and back to East Third Street and River Market Avenue.

There are several restaurants and bars in the area including Copper Grill, Dugan’s Pub, Lucky Lou’s, and Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro.

Amusement districts allow guests at certain establishments to purchase alcoholic beverages, which can then be consumed from open containers in the designated area. It is unclear whether some or all of these restaurants will participate in the planned entertainment district activities.

The district’s opening times would be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

According to a memo from the city administrator’s office that was included with the meeting papers, the Third Street Merchants Association applied for approval of the entertainment district with an outdoor seating area to be used by several restaurants.

At the same meeting, city directors will have the opportunity to pass a resolution to expand an existing temporary entertainment district in the Hillcrest neighborhood on three upcoming Thursdays: August 5th, September 2nd and October 7th.

The board voted on June 1 to propose the Third Street entertainment district resolution for a month after city directors raised concerns about caravanning and crime-related activities in the River Market District.

City officials last Tuesday reviewed the agenda for the upcoming meeting, which, like the final meeting of the board, will be held at Philander Smith College.

During the board meeting, City Manager Bruce Moore said there had been discussions and adjustments regarding traffic flow.

Metropolitan City Director Dean Kumpuris, who backed the June motion to delay setting up the district, said he will be hiking this week but commented on the proposed entertainment district.

Kumpuris said he spoke with a police lieutenant about using bollards as another form of barrier to keep two police officers from having to man the barricade the entire time.

He expressed hope that more people on the streets in the entertainment district would slow traffic through the area, an indication of the city’s recent problems with large groups of vehicles traveling together in caravans.

“So it can be a win-win situation,” said Kumpuris.