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Bellevue's Fairfield Avenue May Become Designated Entertainment District

fairfield avenue bellevue
Courtesy of The River City News
Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue.

Bellevue city council is considering the adoption of an ordinance to designate the entirety of Fairfield Avenue as an entertainment district.

The designation allows for the sale of alcoholic beverages within the common areas of the entertainment district, and also allows for patrons at one spot to leave, drink in hand, and walk outdoors with the drink.

Upon approval from city council, the issue is sent to the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for a license.

"The idea is, when we have Shop Bellevue and other events on the Avenue, we want a lot of people to have a good time on the Avenue," Mayor Charlie Cleves said. "They could go get a drink and walk out to the other stores."

Beverages would be placed in color-coded containers, he said. "As long as they stay on the route and don't go off on the side streets, they can go in the business and shop there, as long as the shop (allows it)."

The mayor conceded that there would be "some getting used to what the guidelines are."

Covington adopted an entertainment district designation for the plaza at the RiverCenter towers last year, and then this year, the city commission voted to expand it throughout much of the central business district.

"It will not allow people to run wild through the streets of Covington with open containers whenever they choose," Covington City Solicitor Michael Bartlett said in May about that city's legislation. "But it will - when certain conditions are met - allow certain licensed businesses to interact with festivals or other events going on at their doorsteps."

In Covington, the freedom to drink alcohol in public areas is "triggered" only if establishments or an event organizer seeks and receives a City Special Event permit, and that freedom will apply only to the applicable Special Event location within the larger EDC zone, The River City News reported at the time.

Bellevue City Attorney David Fessler explained that the city worked closely with its fire and police departments, code enforcement, and historic preservation office as the geographic boundaries were discussed. "We have the ability to open and close certain areas within that geographic boundary," Fessler explained. Other regulations, he said, could include color-coded cups.

For now, the boundary under consideration is the entirety of Fairfield Avenue and all buildings that touch it, from the city's border with Newport in the west to the city's border with Dayton in the east.

The ordinance is expected to receive a formal vote at next month's regular council meeting.

This story first appeared on The River City News. For more stories like this, visit now

Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.