MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Big changes could be coming to the Main Street entertainment corridor to make it more like Beale Street.
Memphis City Councilman Martavious Jones plans to introduce an ordinance to allow customers to walk along Main with a drink in their hand.
Tuesday, the ordinance passed in the Economic Development and Tourism Committee. It goes to full council for three hearings with the public comment and questions at the next council meeting in two weeks.
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Councilman Jones told FOX13 he got the idea after a fact-finding tour to Bourbon Street in New Orleans last August.
"If people are able to walk out of one door to the other without having to dispose of their beverage, I think that creates more activity downtown," said Councilman Jones.
By downtown, Councilman Jones means nearly three miles along the Main Street corridor from GE Patterson to AW Willis which is dotted by restaurants.
Councilman Jones told FOX13, "Looking at the activity on Main Street during the regular hours that they can sell beer that would bring more business to Main Street. "
Restaurants owners on Main Street who we talked with are divided about the idea.
“I think it is a really unique idea,” said Arcade restaurant manager Kelcie Zepatos.
The Arcade, which has a bar, welcomes the extra customers and revenue by the drink but worry how this change might impact the relaxed feel of the corridor.
Zepatos told FOX13, "My concern would be how to keep it under control. I don't want it to be a party scene of South Main."
Daytime customers also have mixed opinions because of concerns fearing the family and mature themed Main Street could inherit some of the Beale Street characteristics.
William E. McCrary, Junior who rehabs buildings on South Main Street isn’t sold on the councilman’s proposal.
"Obviously it could put more pressure on the city to have to deal with drunk individuals, alcohol, waste and garbage,” said McCrary, Jr.
Cox Media Group