Some fear Lower Broad Walgreens could lead to street drinking - WKRN News 2

Some fear Lower Broad Walgreens could lead to street drinking

Posted: Updated: April 15, 2014 06:49 PM

Add one more twist in the saga of a potential Walgreens on a corner in Nashville's historic Lower Broad area: Downtown bar owners and even some top Metro police officers are privately voicing concerns that a Walgreens might lead to drinking on the streets due to a potential "ambiguity" in a city ordinance. 

Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Butch Spyridon spoke to News 2 Tuesday about the concerns.

"I think they have a legitimate beef," Spyridon said while not naming names, "because now you can buy a six-pack or bottle of wine and walk out, and cops can't watch where you open or pour it."

Metro's open container law prohibits taking alcoholic beverages out of establishments where they are sold, but Metro Council staff attorney Jon Cooper told News 2 the ordinance "leads to ambiguity."

One source told News 2 that an unnamed buyer has a contract on the property until the end of June.

Spyridon has repeatedly said Walgreens would probably be welcome, if it just weren't on Lower Broad. He and other Metro legal officials said the law "only references glass, aluminum, and metal containers, not plastic."

That's lead to a scenario of someone buying the beer in that potential Walgreens and pouring it in a cup to walk around downtown streets.

Bar owners would not like Walgreens having a potential advantage doing something their customers can't do, while police don't have a clear mandate to arrest someone on the street with an alcoholic beverage in a plastic cup.

Through all this, Walgreens and its Nashville's realtors remain mum on what they might do.

They have never acknowledged an interest in the 3rd and Broadway building that now houses boot store Trail West.

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