SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport City Council members agreed Tuesday to allow drinking outside certain cafes and restaurants where there is outdoor seating.
The updated measure approving sidewalk cafes passed 6-0.
The city previously had a process for businesses to get outside seating approved, but it didn't include consideration of serving alcohol.
"It would still be regulated. It would still go through the oversight of a committee that looks at sidewalk seating. But, it would also be allowed to consider alcohol sales," explained Councilman Jeff Everson.
Many downtown business owners are just finding out about the change. Parish Taceaux doesn't have a patio, General Manager Beaux Hays says he may consider it.
"Possibly. It all depends. there's a lot of factors that would have to come into play," said Hays.
Council members believe the outdoor cafes will be good for downtown development and vibrancy.
"You know you like to see people out on the street hanging out, congregating, having a meal. That makes people feel excited about returning to downtowns." said Everson.
The same ordinance also changed the permitting process for outdoor events and festivals that serve alcohol.
Organizers now need only apply for a special permit. They no longer have to get a resolution for their event from the City Council.
"This just cuts out a level of bureaucracy and streamlines the process," said Everson.
A third piece of the measure dealing with to-go cups for alcohol was taken out of the measure. Council members are keeping an eye on Bossier City and doing more research before they revisit that.
The sidewalk cafes and outdoor permitting changes take effect in ten days.