Want a drink? Smyrna expands open container policy to three new areas

Jonquil Village sign in article about open container ordinance in SmyrnaJonquil Village (photo by Haisten Willis)

The City of Smyrna jumped on the open container trend in February, allowing carry-out of alcoholic beverages at downtown restaurants into the Village Green area. Monday night, the city council doubled down by expanding the downtown zone and allowing open containers at three more developments around town.

Downtown was adopted several months back, and the intention was if there were no issues to proceed and grow,” said Smyrna Assistant City Administrator Scott Andrews.

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The downtown carry-out zone is being expanded north to include the large roundabout in front of the city library, plus the Smyrna Community Center and a nearby pond.

Open Container expands to three new areas

The new areas are in a trio of mixed-use developments built in recent years: Jonquil Village at the corner of Spring Road and Atlanta Road, The Shops at Belmont at the intersection of Atlanta Road and Windy Hill Road, and Riverview Landing on Riverview Road. Each has been designated a “restaurant district” allowing drinks to be consumed off premises.

Smyrna Councilman Derek Norton said the city has had no problems with the policy since it went into effect.

This is taking the restaurant district that we passed downtown earlier this year, which was widely supported by businesses and clients alike, and extending it to the full Market Village,” said Norton.

Andrews also said that the owners of all three developments were excited by the proposal.

Open container has become a big trend across metro Atlanta, passed in several municipalities in addition to Smyrna. The idea is to let patrons move easily between restaurants and enjoy a bit of the outdoors while sipping an alcoholic beverage. Smyrna previously allowed open containers downtown during special events before making the switch permanent in February.

There are a few provisions, including that drinks must be bought on-site, must be in paper or plastic cups, no more than one per person is allowed and at a size no larger than 16 ounces. The measure passed 7-0 with debate.

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Haisten Willis
Haisten Willis is a freelance writer who lives in Smyrna with his wife, daughter and dog. He holds a master's degree in journalism from California State University, Fresno, serves on the board of SPJ Georgia and even rides a bike when time allows.

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