Local leaders push to control decisions about outdoor drinking




Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 2 at 7:38 PM

Who should be allowed to regulate outdoor drinking?

SPOKANE, Wash.--The City of Spokane was working with the City of Seattle to change the rules about drinking alcohol outside of restaurants in bars.

The Liquor Control Board set rules across the state for restaurants and bars that want to serve alcohol outside. Some leaders in Spokane and Seattle believed the rules should be set at a local level.

"People like to come here, to taste wine, and enjoy great food and what a wonderful place for us to be in the mix,” said Rick Hastings with Liberty Ciderworks.

Businesses like Liberty Ciderworks in Downtown Spokane could not let their customers enjoy drinks outside. They needed a barricade that was three-and-a-half feet tall surrounding customers if they wanted to serve alcohol.

"People were already wanting to sit out on the deck there, watch the trains go by and watch the traffic go by,” said Hastings.

The tasting room and cider maker had only been open for eight-weeks. They wanted to serve alcohol outside but did not have room for a barricade in their small area.

"Everybody loves eating outdoors, and drinking outdoors so it made great sense,” said Hastings.

City leaders in Spokane and Seattle were asking the Liquor Control Board to let local officials determine the rules for serving alcohol outside.

"It certainly makes downtown seem a lot more lively to see people outside dining and enjoying the outdoors,” said Hastings.

The public comment period on the issue ends Friday.

CONNECT: Provide public comment on the issue