Decatur could see alcohol service guideline changes

Decatur could see alcohol service guideline changes

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Downtown Decatur along 2nd Avenue has seen a resurgence in restaurants with strict liquor guidelines.

Currently, no more than 40 percent of receipts can be from alcohol. Food has 60 percent sales receipts and alcohol has 40 percent. The change would be 40 percent food and 60 percent alcohol.

New proposals would also set three classifications of restaurants. Class 1 would have a 25 foot setback from schools and churches. Food sales for this would need to be 50 percent of the receipts.

Mayor Tab Bowling said this is something wanted by millennials.

"There is just some that would like to see more of a bar-type setting. Again, the planning department will review that and depending on what they recommend, it will go to the Council for review," Bowling said.

It will be a while before this idea comes back before the City Council. In the meantime, WAFF 48 News talked with several people who eat lunch frequently in downtown Decatur just to see what they think about the proposal.

"I think it's going to be great for business owners down here. I eat lunch down here a lot so I want there to be food as well, but I think it's going to open a lot of possibilities for business owners and for people like me who live in the neighborhood and do want to walk down here in evening," said Anne Scarbrough.

Another Decatur resident, Mary Reed, agrees.

"I think it only makes sense. I never quite understood the 60/40 situation, so it makes sense to me that businesses should be allowed to do business as they would like to do," she said.

Resident Kathy Bost says she's pro-business.

"I think it's a good one because I'm all for promoting new businesses too," she said.

A big change for class 2 restaurants would mean 25 percent of food receipts and would have to distance themselves 500 feet from churches and schools and 200 if they are separated by a road.

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