11-11 Proposed Entertainment District.jpg

Marietta’s proposed entertainment district would exclude Glover Park and extend north to Polk Street, west to North and South Marietta Parkway and south to South Marietta Parkway.

People in Marietta can now walk with alcoholic drinks in the city’s downtown area.

The Marietta City Council adopted a yearlong trial period for an open container district around Marietta Square, making Marietta the fifth city in Cobb County to allow people to walk with alcohol to-go.

There are alcohol districts in Acworth, Kennesaw, Powder Springs and Smyrna, as well as parts of unincorporated Cobb around Truist Park and the Battery.

The district was part of a list of consent items that the council decided with one vote.

Six of the council members voted to approve the district, which will go into effect immediately. Councilman Joseph Goldstein, whose family owns a majority of properties on the Marietta Square, abstained from voting.

The district, called an entertainment district, allows visitors to walk with alcoholic drinks served from businesses with an alcohol license in a clear plastic cup within a prescribed area. In Marietta’s trial run, the drinks are limited to 12 ounces, smaller than the 16 ounces allowed in cities like Smyrna and Kennesaw.

The boundaries of the district exclude Glover Park, which means those who partake can take their drinks along the sidewalks around the park, but not through it, except for special city events. The district extends south and west out to South Marietta Parkway, including La Cubana, and north to Polk Street, including The Brickyard and The William Root House. It also includes a block east of Atlanta Street at Roswell Street that includes The Marietta Local and Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Firehouse Pub.

Hours for the district will be 5-10 p.m. Thursdays, 5-11 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays.

It appears that the third time was the charm for Marietta officials attempting to pass an open container district. Last year, the council failed to adopt the district after Mayor Steve Tumlin vetoed it. The year before, an open container proposal didn’t make it out of committee. This time, the proposal was revived by council members Michelle Cooper Kelly and Cheryl Richardson as a way to boost local businesses that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and the mayor approved it this time around.

Kelly told city officials at an earlier meeting she thought the district should be considered “given the times we are in right now, and especially for our businesses on the Square being able to lure in guests, being able to help those businesses thrive, and just the popularity in our residents wanting to see an open container allowance in our entertainment district.”

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