CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A fall afternoon, and people are having a drink at Common Market in Plaza Midwood.
However, customers are still confined to the property of the business because there has yet to be approval by the Charlotte City Council to designate part of the area as a social district.
“It’s like the evolution,” said Blake Barnes, owner of the Common Market. “It’s going to happen at some point.”
So, if owners have faith, it will happen. The question is when. The issue has been discussed since 2021 when Governor Roy Cooper signed it into law.
A City of Charlotte spokesperson says eight pre-applications were filed by different businesses and neighborhood associations to be a social district, and the Plaza Midwood Merchants Association has completed one full application.
Merchants say they’ve heard about possible issues, like if a person wants a to-go container all the way to the size of the district.
“Having that freedom of everyone having the same cup, and I’ll take it with me. I think it is great and unique,” added Enzo Pazos, manager of The Giddy Goat.
People living in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood say taking their beverages and strolling around would be great.
“I think there is probably a lot of red tape, a lot of people involved with the decision-making process,” said Heather Miller. “So, I think anytime you have a multi-level decision being made for a population as big as Charlotte, it will take some time.”
It still leaves some business owners and patrons wondering how much more red tape there is. Barnes says his business has had a social district license in Monroe, Union County, for almost two years.
“It’s honestly no big issue,” said Barnes. “But they are smaller, and it’s just like when they have a cruising downtown, or an arts show, something like that. People just walk around relaxed, but the one thing I realized. I have to have someone standing there at the door saying you cannot bring that drink in. That’s where it gets confusing.”