The Village of Pinehurst will allow people to carry open containers of alcohol in the downtown area this coming June. On Tuesday night, the village council approved a temporary change in the alcohol ordinance for the men's and women's US Opens.
"We want to do everything possible to keep people in the village for as long as possible [during the Opens]," explained downtown shop owner Keith McDaniel.
In addition to running his Green Gate Olive Oils store, McDaniel is also the president of the Downtown Pinehurst Business Guild. The guild advocated for the change.
McDaniel said the main goal of the temporary ordinance change is to keep people in the downtown area after the days of golfing are over. He said there are several special events planned in downtown during the Opens, but without the change anyone who has a drink at one of the events would be confined to the event space while drinking. Now people will be able to move more freely between events, restaurants and shops.
"When they finish at an event or a concert or what have you, they can still walk around the village with their beverage and come in and shop, and we'll be here as long as they're here," McDaniel said.
Deborah Myatt is excited about the change. The Le Femme Chateau shop owner said she hopes downtown Pinehurst will feel like a big elegant cocktail party because of the open container allowance. She said she looks forward to that atmosphere more than the potential sales.
"It's about relationships and building business and having people come back," Myatt said. "It's not about the here and now. It's about the future too."
She said she likes the idea of allowing open containers during other special events, but she probably would not support open container in downtown Pinehurst all the time.
The change is limited to the downtown business district between June 7 and 22. More information and links to a map and other details can be found in the village council's online meeting agenda.
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