Kalamazoo City Commission approves expansion of downtown Central Commons Refreshment Area
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 20, 2020
Contact: Meghan Behymer | Communications + Marketing Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 269-344-0795
The Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously approved a resolution Monday, November 16 to expand the Central Commons Refreshment Area within downtown Kalamazoo’s outdoor social district. The Central Commons Refreshment Area allows customers to purchase alcoholic beverages from adjacent, licensed establishments and shop, sit outside, or walk around, as long as they remain within the commons area.
“On the heels of the state announcement that requires downtown restaurants to close indoor dining, the expansion of the commons area is even more important now in supporting downtown businesses while providing outdoor, socially-distant options for the community,” Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership President Andrew Haan said.
Twenty businesses were eligible in the original commons area approved in August, and the Nov. 16 action allows 13 additional businesses to participate, pending approval from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). The added eligible businesses include 600 Kitchen and Bar, Bell’s Brewery, Food Dance, HopCat, Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Kalamazoo Hotel Partners, Maru Sushi, Old Dog Tavern, Park Club, Saugatuck Brewing Company, Shakespeare’s Pub, Tin Can Bar, and Water Street Coffee Joint.
The expansion also allows patrons to walk farther distances with their drink. This means that during the holiday season, they can enjoy walking through more holiday lighting and decorations, and storefront holiday displays. Approval from MLCC is expected by early December.
Public Act 124 of 2020 was signed into law in July, allowing municipalities to designate social districts and commons areas within those districts, where customers of licensed establishments can be served alcohol and carry throughout the commons area.
Per PA 124, establishments will be required to serve in plastic cups no larger than 16oz that clearly identify the affiliated district, as well as the licensed establishment serving the beverage. All consumed beverages must be purchased from a licensed establishment within the commons area boundaries, which must be clearly marked with signage.
Additional information on the Central Commons Refreshment Area and Downtown Social District can be found on our website, including a boundary map, commons area rules, participating businesses and more.
About Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works with both the public and private sectors in preserving and enhancing the economic health of Kalamazoo’s downtown area and, in turn, the Kalamazoo community. In conjunction with its affiliate organizations, it manages a full range of activities that include capital improvement projects, business development and recruitment programs, image marketing and event planning in order to establish Downtown Kalamazoo as an accessible, diverse, green, progressive and vibrant urban center. For more information, visit downtownkalamazoo.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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