Feb 4, 2024 - Business

Social district signs are up in Plaza Midwood — but you can't drink in the streets just yet

Social district sign

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Signs went up in Plaza Midwood this weekend informing passersby about the boundaries and rules of the social district — an area where people can sip on alcoholic drinks in the streets.

Yes, but: The district has not officially launched. Plaza Midwood businesses aim to start offering to-go drinks in early or mid-March.

Why it matters: Establishing Charlotte's first social district has been a lengthy and tedious process that required city approval and neighborhood support.

  • Local businesses hope the social district will boost foot traffic and profits.

How it works: A social district launching doesn't mean you can just carry a Bud Light bottle down the street.

  • Customers must purchase to-go drinks from participating businesses, and the drinks will have to be in a specially marked cup.
  • The district will stretch along Central Avenue, from Two Scoops Creamery to Morningside Pub.
  • It will operate 10am to 10pm.

Between the lines: Plaza Midwood Merchants has been holding training sessions for businesses on the rules of the district over the last few weeks.

What's next: A growing number of neighborhoods have expressed interest in establishing social districts, including Montford, Elizabeth, NoDa and Lower South End. Some are waiting to see whether Plaza Midwood's district is successful — or a flop.

  • Charlotte Center City Partners told Axios this week they're still studying the potential of a social district in Uptown and/or South End.

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