In accordance with the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan, Brevard has considered designating a social district to provide people expanded opportunities to eat, drink, and shop locally in our downtown area. The idea for a social district was developed by City and Heart of Brevard staff. They submitted a proposal to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee who, over a series of meetings, made refinements that are now part of the draft. Heart of Brevard also held stakeholder meetings for downtown businesses, property owners, and residents. The proposal will now move from the Public Safety Committee to City Council for a public hearing on August 7, 2023.
Curious about the recently proposed downtown social district? Check out answers to some frequently asked questions!
What is a social district?
A social district is a common area where people can buy alcoholic beverages from licensed establishments (e.g., restaurants and breweries) and circulate through the common area with their drinks.
What are the proposed boundaries of the social district?
England Street, Jordan Street, Gaston Street, and Probart Street will comprise the perimeter of the downtown social district. The boundaries of the social district will also be marked with physical signs.
Are other cities doing this?
Yes, since the passage of this exception to North Carolina’s open container law in 2021, nearly 40 other NC municipalities have adopted social districts.
What are the benefits of social districts?
Because patrons can move more freely while enjoying their beverages, there are more opportunities for connection among local businesses. Other municipalities with social districts have reported increased foot traffic and economic activity in those districts.
Can I bring my own alcohol?
No, all alcohol consumed in the social district must be purchased from an ABC-permitted business in the district.
Can I enter any of the businesses in the 6-block social district with my drink?
You can only bring your beverage into participating businesses. Businesses must opt in to participate in the social district, and you cannot bring your drink into non-participating businesses.
Can I buy a six-pack of beers “to go” and drink them in the social district?
No, alcohol consumed in the social district must be served in branded cups that identify the business that sold the beverage and the date it was purchased.
Do I need to show ID to enter the social district?
No, the area within the social district remains open to everyone. You need to show ID only to purchase and consume alcohol the way you typically would at any licensed establishment.
Who is enforcing the rules in the social district?
City of Brevard Police will enforce the social district rules and, if necessary, can report any major violations to the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement Division.
What inquiries did the committee make regarding compliance and public safety?
Brevard Police Chief Tom Jordan distributed a social district survey to other NC police chiefs whose jurisdictions have implemented social districts. All respondents reported only negligible increases—or even slight decreases—in alcohol-related incidents.