Duluth alcohol plan headed to city council

DULUTH -- A daily jaunt through the Town Green with wine in a plastic cup is less likely after Duluth's Alcohol Review Board balked at the idea.

The board decided against recommending a Savannah-inspired idea to allow people to stroll through shops while finishing a drink.

Instead, members recommended extending the benefit of leaving a restaurant with a glass to enjoy a special event at the Town Green. If the City Council follows the unanimous recommendation, any restaurant in the historic district would be allowed to sell to patrons going to the park, instead of only those that back up to the Town Green.

The option would open up to Chocolate Perks, which is located along Main Street, and any other restaurant that opens in the area. Steverino's and Cafe Park already have the privilege, said Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee.

"They (review board members) wanted to restrict it to just the times the city has already sanctioned events where alcohol can be on Town Green," he said. (Event-goers are also allowed to bring alcohol from home on those days.) "They made the determination that at this time Duluth was not ready, and did not need that option (every day)."

Of course, McGahee said, the City Council can choose to take up the idea or to consider the Savannah proposition, which would not require a special event designation.

The earliest the City Council could take up the idea is Sept. 13, which means that Chocolate Perks will be left out of the opportunity to sell to concert-goers for this weekend's City of Duluth Music Festival, which is scheduled for 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday.