Posted: Apr 6, 2021 / 5:03 PM CDT
Updated: April 6, 2021 / 5:10 p.m. CDT
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) – Abilene could get an open container entertainment district in the city center That would allow adults to walk from restaurants to shops with an alcoholic drink in hand.
Some Abilene residents and business owners say they wholeheartedly support this.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Kayla Rollins, owner of the K. Ellis Boutique.
“It’s exciting to revitalize downtown and bring new life to it,” said Brenna Camp, a local resident.
Abilene City Council approves the task force to consider a proposal that would allow people to carry alcohol around downtown
“As long as residents are responsible for it and throw away their trash,” said Jonathan Dempsey, local resident.
“We’re excited to have the chance to see more people downtown,” said Jessica Adams, owner of Vagabond Pizza.
The idea of a downtown entertainment district began after two businessmen reached out to Councilor Weldon Hurt.
“Anything a citizen brings up, good or bad, whatever we have to do, I generally bring it up to the city administrator,” Hurt said.
The proposal at the Abilene City Council meeting could allow alcohol to be carried while walking downtown
After talking to Robert Hanna, the manager of Abilene City, they decided to take the idea to the council.
“First and foremost, we don’t encourage people to get drunk,” said Hurt.
Instead, the aim is to make the city center more attractive and more accessible for residents and tourists.
“It really doesn’t cost the city anything, and I still think it will help tourism, and I always consider tourism to be free money,” said Hurt.
Rollins says an entertainment district would attract more shoppers.
“Like Fredericksburg, we go out and spend all day, my husband can come and we can shop, and he can sit there and follow us, but he has a beer and is happy about it,” Rollins said.
Instead of going to a shop or restaurant, people can make a day out of it.
Some reviewers have said it could create more trash, but Rollins and Adams say they would be willing to bring out more trash cans.
“We all know that if we screw it up, it affects more than just our business. That is why we are all very hardworking. We want to take care of this community, that’s why we are here, ”said Adams.
Hurt says keeping young professionals in Abilene has always been a goal, and an entertainment district could do just that.
“Give them more places to go, more things to see,” said Hurt.
Nothing has been decided yet, but the city council will appoint members to a task force which will then discuss options and possibilities with the city administrator, city attorney and other city guides.