Englewood toasts relaxed rules: Public alcohol consumption now allowed downtown

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Thirsty residents who visit downtown Englewood can now enjoy their alcoholic beverages outside of bars and restaurants around parts of South Broadway.

Thanks to an emergency order declared by Englewood City Manager Shawn Lewis, public alcohol consumption and food consumption will be allowed in a designated zone along South Broadway bordered by Eastman Avenue to the north, Acoma Street to the west, Lincoln Street to the east and Hampden Avenue to the south.

The order, which was signed by Lewis on June 12, is meant to help restaurants and bars that have suffered financial setbacks due to COVID-19.

Patrons who choose to drink alcohol in the designated zone are not allowed to bring their drink into any establishment after they have been purchased. Additionally, the drinks can’t be brought back into the restaurant or bar from where they were purchased after leaving the establishment, and all drinks sold by a retailer must be accompanied by a food purchase. Alcoholic drinks purchased outside the designated zone can’t be carried into or consumed within the zone, according to guidelines from the city.

Drinks can be consumed in the designated zone Sundays through Thursdays from noon until 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 11 p.m.

Lewis had the authority to declare the order because of an emergency ordinance passed by Englewood City Council in March that gives him the full power and authority to take certain actions and issue orders necessary to protect life and property in response to COVID-19. The order is set to expire on Dec. 31.

“Colorado laws on alcohol are holdovers from the era of Prohibition. In addition to helping our businesses recover from COVID-19, we think it’s time to bring our liquor laws in line with modern understanding and attitudes towards our great Colorado breweries, distilleries and alcohol-serving establishments,” said Lewis.

Erika Zierke, co-owner of the Englewood Grand bar at 3435 S. Broadway, said it has been fun telling her customers about the designated zone and added that her customers have been excited about the concept.

“I’m super grateful to the city for being willing to think creatively and do things that will help us out. All the businesses in downtown Englewood will benefit,” said Zierke. “I think people will discover a lot more about what Englewood has to offer.”

Englewood’s designated zone is in some ways similar to the entertainment district in Colorado Springs located north of Moreno and in between Tejon and Cascade. The entertainment district was passed last November by Colorado Springs City Council and allows for residents to carry alcohol from one restaurant to another, in parking lots and alleys within the district.

Other Englewood bars like Tabletop Tap are also welcoming Englewood’s designated zone. Jason Ungate, owner of the bar, reopened Tabletop Tap for the first time in nearly three months on June 13. He purchased to-go cups on June 15 and by June 17, he nearly sold all the cups with to-go alcohol drinks.

“We have already seen some profit from (the designated zone). It’s encouraging more pedestrian traffic which is not only fantastic for us but fantastic for everyone around here,” said Ungate.

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