Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the plaza that’s the residence of Homewood Metropolis Corridor and a variety of in style eating places and companies turned a “place the place individuals wished to be,” Ward 5 Councilor Jennifer Andress mentioned.
Andress, together with Council President Alex Wyatt and Ward 1 Councilor Andy Gwaltney, helped create plans for the realm changing into an leisure district, which turned official with the Sept. 13 approval of the Metropolis Council.
The district’s southern boundary extends simply south of Parkridge Drive and goes north to twenty seventh Avenue South. The western boundary contains Central Avenue and extends eastward, although it stops wanting U.S. 31.
The town is legally allowed to have two leisure districts, and after seeing related districts work in different cities, together with Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Mountain Brook, Andress mentioned it was time so as to add one to Homewood. Leisure districts permit companies to use for an alcohol license, which permits patrons to devour alcohol exterior the restaurant and are sometimes seen in areas the place neighborhood occasions are held, just like the three villages in Mountain Brook or Heights Village in Vestavia Hills, or in Hoover’s Stadium Hint Village.
“I feel it would profit the town,” Wyatt mentioned. “It can do what it’s completed in different cities. It permits for slightly extra freedom when [patrons] are at eating places.”
A cornhole league occasion was lately held at Metropolis Corridor, Andress mentioned, so an leisure district would have allowed company and people enjoying to get pleasure from that type of occasion with a beer. The district will assist promote walkability and purchasing within the metropolis, Andress mentioned, as patrons may stroll within the district with alcohol. The town’s Police Division is on board with the plan, and understands the town is just not “attempting to encourage drunkenness,” Andress mentioned.
The leisure district ought to assist promote the realm in and round Metropolis Corridor much more, Andress mentioned, and assist it’s extra of the town’s “entrance yard” than it already is.
“I really like the concept of Metropolis Corridor being a central place for individuals to hang around,” Andress mentioned.
Shops within the space can outline their guidelines, Andress mentioned. Two eating places to both aspect of Metropolis Corridor are on board with the plan.
“I’m thrilled,” SoHo proprietor Dave Horn mentioned. “We’ve acquired … lots of people exterior on the patio who want to mingle. The plaza is the right place for that.”
An leisure district will make the realm very engaging, Horn mentioned.
Hal Craig, proprietor of Tostada’s, mentioned he would “completely adore it.”
“I feel it is going to be improbable,” Craig mentioned.
An leisure district would permit Craig to host extra occasions, and he mentioned he believes it would additional encourage individuals to spend their day in downtown Homewood, with eating places and outlets inside strolling distance.
Relying on the climate, Craig mentioned Tostada’s could have stay music, which is often held on Wednesdays, and there are additionally occasions for Cinco de Mayo and different events. Being able to have a drink whereas strolling across the plaza would solely enhance these occasions, and create extra of a draw to the realm, he mentioned.
It additionally may play a constructive function within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as some company are extra snug sitting exterior on the patio, Craig mentioned, and an leisure district would permit individuals to maneuver exterior of the restaurant with their drink and encourage social distancing.
Gwaltney mentioned an leisure district is advantageous for the town’s retailers and shoppers. Visitors may stroll round with a drink and store whereas ready on a desk or ready on meals. Ultimately, the purpose is so as to add greenery to the plaza, which is able to hopefully convey extra households to the realm, he mentioned.
The hours of the leisure district are 5-9 p.m. Monday via Wednesday, noon-11 p.m. Thursday via Saturday and from noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.
Particular occasion would nonetheless want a particular occasion license, and the intent of the district is for patrons to buy alcohol inside the district to devour. It will not be authorized to buy a big amount of alcohol and produce it into the district to drink, Gwaltney mentioned.