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Downtown Albemarle social district approved

The social district will allow patrons to have open containers from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday through Sunday.

ALBEMARLE, N.C. — Albemarle City Council has approved the establishment of a social district in downtown Albemarle, with expected implementation in August 2022.

Social districts are the newest trend popping up across North Carolina, thanks to a new state law. Several cities and towns in the Charlotte area, including Cornelius, Hickory and Kannapolis, have added them as a way to increase revenue for small businesses working in unison. 

The social district will allow patrons of an establishment, permitted by North Carolina's Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC), to take their drinks to public areas within the designated social district.

The social district will cover the area from Five Points District, to Market Station, to North Street, and to South Street.

Credit: WCNC

The social district will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

Businesses within the social district are not required to participate, but those that wish to will need to register for and complete an orientation process. 

“The social district will further enhance retail shopping in downtown Albemarle," Albemarle Main Street Manager Joy Almond said. "We’ve heard overwhelmingly from our local business community that they see this as a valuable addition to the experience they offer."

Rules regarding the social district can be found here.

It's an experience Charlotte is hoping to create, as well. On June 27, Charlotte City Council will review a social district ordinance. On July 11, they will recommend council adoption. Come mid-July city applications are expected to open. 

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