MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - It's the first weekend patrons can walk around parts of downtown Mobile with an open container, but the crowds were quiet Friday night.
A new city ordinance created two entertainment districts in the Port City. It was approved by the city council earlier this week.
This went into effect Wednesday, March 13. Patrons may now leave a bar in the district and walk around with one alcoholic beverage, as long as it's in a plastic cup no larger than 16 ounces.
David Rasp owns Heroes right in the heart of the downtown district. He doesn't expect an immediate impact in business. However, he said if people are in and out, he should be able to turn tables easier.
"I think the new ordinance is going to have a nice affect on downtown Mobile," Rasp said. "I think it's going to create a more user-friendly environment, a little more casual, a little more comfortable environment for folks, especially for those coming from out of town."
But not everyone is a fan of the ordinance.
"We've had a lot of lawyers offer pro bono and say that they'll help us sue the city," said Haberdasher owner Naude Gouws.
Gouws and managers of the Music Box may take legal action since they're outside of district lines.
Gouws said he feels like the odd man out and fears his business could suffer, especially during upcoming downtown events. It's a shame, he said, as his bar offers something different.
"We're a little more up-scale. We do cocktails that you don't see in Mobile, 1920s prohibition-style cocktails," Gouws said. "So it's really a slap in the face."
Gouws did say his regulars are coming to the rescue, buying high and tipping extra to help in this tough time.
But that, he fears, could be temporary.
The new ordinance expires every morning at 2:30 a.m.
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