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'Social district' coming to Downtown Greensboro in 2022

City council passed the 'social district' ordinance on December 21. It will start in March 2022.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Cheers to Downtown Greensboro getting a social district! This means you'll be able to take your drink to-go, walk down the street with it and possibly take it into another business.

Greensboro City Council recently passed the ordinance 7-2 after it was authorized by the North Carolina legislature.

Of course, there are rules and restrictions that will be put in place to keep everything in order.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Anyone wanting to drink in the social district must have the Greensboro social district cup
  • Drinks can be no larger than 16 ounces.
  • There will be signage up to showcase the perimeter of the district
  • You will not be allowed to take your drink into another business that has an ABC license
  • You can take a drink into a business that doesn't have an ABC license and gives you permission to do so
  • The social district hours will be from 12 noon to 9 p.m.

"By and large folks want to give it a try. Let's give something a try. Let's continue to promote the cool, energetic vibe that we're creating in Downtown Greensboro," Zack Matheny, President and CEO of Downtown Greensboro, Inc., said.

Credit: Downtown Greensboro

There are concerns with this new venture. Council member Sharon Hightower voiced hers at the city council meeting.

"I just think we need to be a little more responsible in this. Maybe a social district is fine. Other cities it probably works fine, I don't know, but I know this city is really being asked to control our violence and we're getting ready for the next item to implement a safety plan for just some of those things. It looks a little discriminatory in those basis for me," Hightower said.

Assistant city manager Trey Davis and Matheny both emphasized the research and planning behind the social district. 

Matheny said this is a collaborative effort between the city, DGI, law enforcement, and parks and rec.

Davis said both ABC and ALE have reviewed their plans and have no issue with it.

The plan is to get the social district running in March.

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