Soon you'll be able to enjoy adult beverages outside in the new social district coming to West Fulton Street.

This week, the City Commission approved a new social district on the 1100 block of Fulton Street W between Marion and Garfield avenues NW, outside of Joey's Tavern and Putt Putt's Bar.

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City of Grand Rapids
City of Grand Rapids

One outdoor seating area will be set up in front of  McDonalds at 1130 Fulton St W. Another will be along the street parking area in front of Joey’s Tavern. The City says that cement barricades will form the boundary of both seating areas and traffic will not be impacted.

Social districts were launched last summer to help restaurants and bars recoup some of their economic losses during the pandemic by expanding their serving areas outside. They allow for consumption of alcoholic beverages in blocked-off, designated outdoor areas.

Some of the rules for drinking alcohol in social zones include:

  • Drinks have to be purchased from the list of licensed, participating businesses.
  • Drinks also have to be in designated 16 ounce containers with the name of the bar and the refreshment zone name on them.
  • Patrons have to stay within the designated boundaries

The West Fulton Social District joins other area social zones where you can drink outside: Downtown Grand Rapids, Monroe North, and Bridge Street.

Lou Canfield, chief of staff in the Executive Office, told the City Commission,

Restaurants and bars, which have been key contributors to the vitality of downtown and neighborhood business districts have been, and will continue to be, hard-hit by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 safety protocols. As we’ve seen in the other two districts, increasing the availability of outdoor dining space will help this neighborhood business district recover from this pandemic.

The West Fulton Social District is expected to be operational in June.

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