Ordinance change would allow open container drinking during even - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Ordinance change would allow open container drinking during events

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The Iowa City City Council voted Tuesday night to change it's open container ordinance which would allow drinking beer and wine in the streets and sidewalks of downtown Iowa City. This would only be the case during special events.

The council voted unanimously for the ordinance in preparation of the Downtown Block Party that is being put on by the Iowa City Downtown District on June 24th.

"It would allow for that event for patrons to be able to move in between restaurants and the temporary service area in the street with an open container," Assistant City Manager, Simon Andrew, said.

While it doesn't open the door for public consumption on a nightly basis, it would allow future events to apply to do the same.

"You can be enjoying what's ever happening in the street and that was really the point being able to do this is that there will be lots of music, lots of games and other things to do out there in the street," Andrew said.

Part of it's policy would be that the drinks have to be served out of special event cups and must stay within the event's perimeters. 

The ordinance change is something many downtown businesses support.

"For the opportunity to walk around and be outside and enjoy the downtown scenery, with a drink in hand, is great. It's enticing. It's fun," Cory Kent said.

Kent is an owner and managing partner for both Atlas and Pullman Bar & Diner. He said it's a good way to get people downtown and to show them that there's more to it than the college scene.

"You can come downtown and have a nice dinner and have a good cocktail and enjoy a different style of environment and I think that's what this whole block party is really trying to bring is just to get people of all sorts of ages and backgrounds to downtown," Kent said.

The city council will vote on the ordinance two more times before it can take effect.

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