Business owners call for entertainment district to be redrawn

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – A proposal to redraw the downtown Montgomery entertainment district is expected to be brought before city council.

Entertainment districts allow people to walk around outside of businesses with an alcoholic beverage in their hand.

Bob McGough, president of the Hilltop Howlers, is proposing the district will expand from Goldthwaite Street from the Sanctuary, down to Martha Street to include businesses in Cottage Hills.

“This area has so much potential, and it’s been growing and growing over the past few years,” McGough said, “This is an easy step that the city can take.”

The current entertainment district line is at Clay Street which only includes Goat Haus Biergarten and Whittier’s Sports Lounge.

Hilltop Public House is one of the businesses that would be included in the proposed redrawing of the entertainment district.

“They could just walk over here, grab a drink, and if there is a food truck in the neighborhood, they’ll be able to just walk right over, grab a sandwich, grab some ribs,” McGough said.

Hilltop Public House co-owners Andrew Szymansky and Will O’Connor both said they are for being a part of the proposed district, adding there are multiple benefits.

“The modern kind of way that people experience cities is by walking through them, so they go place to place whether that’s landmarks, bars and restaurants, museums,” Szymansky said.

O’Connor added the current district does not allow people to walk far enough to enjoy their beverages.

“There’s not really a benefit to be able to walk out the door of one location and walk 15 or 50 feet to the next one,” he said, “The benefit really comes when you need to cover a little bit of distance.”

McGough said he would be open if the city wants to make adjustments to his proposal before going forward.

WSFA 12 News has reached out to Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed’s office for comment on the proposed new entertainment district.

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