The city of Phenix City created a special entertainment district Aug. 1 where people may openly drink alcoholic beverages within the district area, as long as they are purchased from approved vendors.
The area extends from Broad Street and the Chattahoochee River to 16th Street to the north and to Dillingham Street to the south.
Beverages can currently be bought, in an approved, shatterproof container, from only three licensed vendors — Chattahoochee Brewing Company, Courtyard Marriott and the concession area at the Phenix City Amphitheater.
People can buy drinks from those vendors and then leave — perhaps to stroll along the Phenix City Riverwalk after a show at the amphitheater — without worrying about breaking open container laws.
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Certain areas, like churches, funeral homes and government buildings, are not covered by the district. Public drunkenness, indecency and DUI laws also still apply.
The district was created because the Phenix City Council said it “believes (it) may benefit the city by promoting commercial development and enhancing pedestrian traffic,” according to the text of the ordinance.
Phenix City police chief Ray Smith stressed that just because the Phenix City entertainment district is so close to downtown Columbus does not mean that people can buy alcohol and then walk with it over to Columbus.
“Those are two different states with two different ordinances,” he said.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE