Aug 24, 2021 - Food and Drink

8th Street Market poised to become outdoor drinking district

Picnic benches situated under a covered area

The sign appropriately reads, "This way for cold beer." Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

The 8th Street Market may soon be its own entertainment district.

What's it means: If the Bentonville City Council approves the district Tuesday night, you'll be able to drink alcohol anywhere around the market area, instead of in only designated areas.

Details: Participating businesses would give you a cup or wristband showing that you bought your drink within the district, allowing you to drink within the district's boundaries — which would include the entire market area, parking lot and the grassy spot northwest of the market.

  • No, it would not include the walkway to the Momentary.
  • This would apply 11am–11pm daily and only to alcohol you purchase on-site. So don't show up at 2am with a six-pack.

Context: We have Act 812 of 2019 to thank for the flexibility to legally drink in public where our cities say it's OK.

  • Fayetteville's "outdoor refreshment area," approved in summer 2020, allows people to drink basically anywhere downtown, including the square.
  • Rogers established the Railyard Entertainment District this spring in conjunction with the opening of the new downtown Railyard Park, which includes a concert venue.
  • The Springdale City Council approved a downtown "outdoor dining district" last August in hopes of boosting business for bars and restaurants hurt by the pandemic.

Go deeper: Read the ordinance, and see the map here.

Go to the meeting: 6pm Tuesday at City Hall, or you can register here to watch online.


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