Leisure district activity power invitations companies to their second assembly for perspective | KTAB

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) –The Entertainment District Task Force, looking at the pros and cons of enabling older adults to walk from the restaurant to the downtown venue with beer or wine in hand, met for the second time today.

They invited two business owners, one from the north and one from the south side, to get their perspective.

George Levesque, executive director of the Paramount Theater, says as more restaurants opened in downtown Abilene, he saw crowded parking lots and long waits for dinner.

“And then all of a sudden they deflate around 7 am, they all come to the top, come to a movie, and when they leave, guess what they’re doing? You keep going, ”said Levesque.

And they go to other bars and restaurants.

“I want to see one downtown and I want entertainment, restaurants and culture on both sides of the route,” said local developer Tim Smith.

Task force members asked Smith many questions about driver safety.

“My concern is to get back there safely so we don’t increase our DUI rates and DWI rates,” said a member of the task force.

They also raised concerns about underage alcohol consumption and excessive consumption.

“The cocktails are $ 10-14 a cocktail,” said Smith.

In Smith’s cocktail lounge, he says people aren’t there to get drunk.

“If you want the 99-cent booze, you’re in a different part of town and going to a different place,” Levesque said.

And since opening, Smith hasn’t had any major problems with over-consuming customers.

For this reason, he believes an open container rule is appropriate to meet the city’s long-term goals of promoting downtown businesses.

“If more happens downtown, more happens,” Levesque said.

Some Abilene residents, enterprise homeowners excited for potential downtown leisure district | KTAB

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.