Proposed law extends open container law in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Open containers of alcohol could soon be allowed on Main Street.

A city ordinance that would loosen the ban on open alcohol passed a Memphis City Council committee Tuesday.

Currently, Beale Street is the only street in the city where people are allowed to carry alcohol on the sidewalk.

"One day down the line, it's coming. So that time is now," Main Street restaurant owner Gary Williams said.

Williams owns DeJavu Restaurant on South Main. He wants to bring the Beale Street vibe--and hopefully more customers--to his restaurant. He thinks giving people the option to wander down the street with a drink in their hand would help achieve that goal.

That's why Williams supports the city ordinance proposed by Councilman Martavious Jones.

"I'm all for it. I think 100 percent it would bring folks excited about that," Williams said.

Jones apparently got the idea after a business trip to New Orleans, which is an open container city.

The idea is to change the feel of Main Street.

"It might change the tone of South Main," Main Street employee Alexis Lynn said. "I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing."

However, spreading where alcohol can be consumed may require a stronger police presence in the area.

"I think as long as there are security measures taken it could be a nice thing to have," Lynn said.

"You can have a drink, walking down, have some great food, get your drinks to go--awesome time," Williams said.

The city ordinance will go before the full city council early in December.

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