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Will We Be Sipping Wine at Nashville Sidewalk Cafes Like Gay Paris?
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Will We Be Sipping Wine at Nashville Sidewalk Cafes Like Gay Paris?

01.19.12

Mayor Karl Dean spoke about relaxed rules for sidewalk cafe seating at the Downtown Nashville Partnership's January open house meeting, reports Bone McAllester Alcoholic Beverage Team member Rob Pinson.

Under current ABC and Metro Beer Board views of the law, outdoor seating must have a barrier to prevent folks from leaving with a drink or passing a drink to someone outside the patio. Historically, regulators have required a permanent barrier, like an iron railing.

Relatively narrow Nashville sidewalks do not have enough room for traditional patios. Ideally, sidewalk cafe seating would not be permanent. Blocking off valuable sidewalk space only makes sense when folks will be sitting outdoors. Who wants to sit outside right now in the middle of the winter?

Mayor Dean made a point of speaking in favor of sidewalk cafe seating. Mayor Dean does not make a habit of publicly discussing a subject, unless he is interested in making a change. The lobbyist for the Tennessee Hospitality Association spoke to the Metro Beer Board about the issue at the last meeting. We hear that no specifics were discussed.

We look for movement on this issue before winter thaws. Stay posted.


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