Friday, Jun 23, 2017
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FEATURED EDITORIAL

Expand hours for open drinks

There was a time when Toledo was practically a ghost town after dark. That’s not how things are today. 

And now city officials have approved expanded hours for a second outdoor-drinking area downtown. It will be similar to an open-carry zone along Adams Street that has helped make the bar and restaurant scene there successful.

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A sign designates the boundary for outdoor drinking along Adams Street. Since the area opened last summer, there have been no problems with unruly drinkers.

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The second outdoor-refreshment area is bounded by Lafayette, Erie, Adams, and Summit streets, which includes part of the Warehouse District.

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Patrons will be allowed to carry open alcoholic beverages outside in the designated area from noon to midnight. The current hours for the original outdoor-refreshment zone, approved in late 2015, allow open carrying of alcohol from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m Monday through Friday; noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 1 a.m. for special events that fall on a weekday.

The outdoor-refreshment areas became possible thanks to a 2015 change in state law that allows limited open-carry with some restrictions designed to keep patrons safe and neighborhoods orderly.

Patrons, along with bar and restaurant owners along Adams Street, have enjoyed the privilege of carrying open alcohol responsibly. Business owners have been considerate of neighbors and addressed concerns from nearby schools before allowing customers to take drinks outdoors. Since the refreshment area opened last summer, city officials say no problems have been reported.

The outdoor refreshment area along Adams Street has been a hit with customers, who want to enjoy a drink outdoors on a warm night. Bar and restaurant owners also say they’ve seen higher sales thanks to the new rule. This all contributes to a vital urban community where people can not only work in the city, but live in town and enjoy social life.

Establishments in the second designated zone should launch open carry so bar and restaurant owners and their customers in that area can enjoy its benefits this summer.

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