Warren Advances Plans for Entertainment District
WARREN, Ohio -- City Councilman Greg Bartholomew reports he's already receiving inquiries from people interested in acquiring one of up to 15 new liquor licenses that could become available once a downtown entertainment district is established.
Legislation permitting the creation of the entertainment district was approved by both houses of the Ohio Legislature and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich. City Council will consider an ordinance that Councilmen Bartholomew, D-4, and James Valesky, at large, put forth to establish the entertainment district. The ordinance will be reviewed in committee next week and hopefully come before council members at their next meeting, Bartholomew said.
“When we first announced it a few months ago. I probably had five people call me and two come see me about what the next steps will be,” he said. “We already have two businesses on [Courthouse] Square that don’t have liquor licenses that would like to open up later in the evening -- and a draw for dinner is to be able to have a glass of wine or maybe a beer.”
Bartholomew, who also owns All-American Comics and Cards on Courthouse Square, said the intent is for the licenses to go to restaurants intending to serve alcohol “so it won’t be just saloon after saloon.” The opening of four or five new restaurants would generate more foot traffic for downtown businesses, he said.
“It provides an opportunity for people to get back downtown,” added Jim Fogarty, owner of Two Ticks and the Dog, a Warren marketing agency.
Developments such as the establishment of Dave Grohl alley have led to what he described as a “downtown renaissance” and the entertainment district “can only add to it,” Fogarty said.
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