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Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Drier Downtown: Meeting Tonight on Booze Ban

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:34 AM

OH YEAH! Like Kool-Aid.
  • OH YEAH! Pretty like Kool-Aid.
Portland's pooh-bahs are taking another step down the road toward clearing downtown and its environs of all malt liquor, fortified wine and other beverage types popular with "street drinkers," including tall-boys of regular beer and boxed wine (yum!).

Tonight, right about when happy hour starts in most saloons, the city's liquor licensing specialist, Theresa Marchetti, is holding a public meeting where liquor license holders can sound off on how the ban would (or wouldn't) affect them.

Meetings on the ban, which would create an "Alcohol Impact Area," have been held in fits and starts since this winter. And the Mercury also was on the case this spring.

The city, led by Commissioner Amanda Fritz, wants to "address the chronic problem of street drinking in the downtown core," according to the notice for tonight's meeting.

Of course, some convenience store owners who deal out the hard stuff worry that they might shut their doors without the business. And others complain it's all about making downtown more the domain of hipster clans pushing $400 strollers.

But city officials point to places like Seattle, where the ban has reduced police calls for public drunkenness. They want the same results here.

One thing sure to please downtown's young elite: Micro-brews won't be affected. We'll post updates from the meeting tomorrow and have more on the story next week.

Tonight's meeting:

6 p.m.
The Portland Building — 2nd floor auditorium
1120 SW 5th Ave.

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