Bars on Lower Broad could start selling drinks in to-go cups
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
When you think of drinking on the sidewalks outside of a bar, places like the French Quarter and Beale Street in Memphis may come to mind.
Lawmakers are looking at making that possible on the streets of downtown Nashville.
Linda Gorby, the manager at Boot Country on Broadway for the past eight years, said business is bustling at the store all the time—and she hopes it stays that way.
"A lot of people come down here with their families and their kids, enjoying downtown Broadway in the evening, and if you get people wandering around with open drinks and getting out of control, you may not have that," she told News 2.
That could become a reality if a bill allowing bars on Lower Broadway to sell alcoholic beverages in to-go cups passes.
"I personally don't think it's a good idea," said Gorby.
Locals and tourists feel differently.
"I'm all for it. A lot of times, I like to show all of my friends the different bars, just want to walk right next door, but we got to chase our beers before we walk out to the next place," said David Heath, a Mt. Juliet resident.
"It would be a nice tourist sell point. I like it," said Aaron Wilson, a tourist from Utah.
Officials with the Convention and Visitors Corporation say that is why they recommended the legislation.
They say, "As Nashville grows, we are always looking for ways to improve our product while protecting our authenticity. This was one of several ideas that the industry has discussed over the years."
Some bar managers worry this bill could affect their bottom line, but feel it's too soon to tell since it's unclear as to how it would be enforced.
"I just really hope that they take everything into consideration before they pass it; what kind of impact it's going to have on downtown and the businesses," said Gorby.
Metro police also say it's too soon to tell if they will need to change their police strategy on Lower Broadway if the bill passes.
The next step is a subcommittee hearing on March 12 when the language of the bill will be made more specific.
News 2 will continue to follow the proposal as it progresses.