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Shaker Heights Mayor proposes making Van Aken District an 'open refreshment area'

Posted at 11:27 PM, May 15, 2019

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — There could be some big changes coming to the Van Aken district in Shaker Heights very soon.

Mayor David Weiss and a handful of others are proposing for this area to become what they are calling an "open refreshment area."

"For participating vendors, they can sell alcoholic beverages that you can consume them on premises or walk around and window shop or have an enjoyable time in our park," said Mayor Weiss.

Here's how he says it would work: all of the places that fall within a mapped-out area who have a license to sell alcohol would serve drinks in special cups. Patrons could then take their drink to go and walk around to the many shops or hang out on the sidewalk.

Once they go into another establishment that sells alcohol, they can't take their first drink inside, instead they would need a new cup provided by that vendor.

"You can only have the special cups so people know that you bought it on premises and you're staying within the outdoor area," said Weiss.

Mayor Weiss also says there will be signs letting folks know of the boundaries, not to mention private security and local police patrols.

"People are very very anxious to have a place that they can bring their family and that's something we encourage," said the mayor.

The proposal will be officially brought before city council at the end of this month, and folks will be able to voice their support or concerns during several public meeting that will follow. The mayor says if all goes well, the open refreshment area could be a reality as soon as this summer.