New Social District In Downtown Albemarle To Allow Alcoholic Drinks On Sidewalks, Public Areas

ALBEMARLE, N.C. — People will soon be able to enjoy their favorite alcoholic beverages while strolling the streets of downtown Albemarle thanks to the implementation of a new social district.

The Albemarle City Council recently approved the establishment of a social district in downtown Albemarle that would allow people who visit businesses, permitted by NC’s ABC Commission, to take an alcoholic drink they purchased into public areas within the social district.

Before the new social district can be implemented, officials say the state ABC commission will need to approve the City’s social district registration.

When implemented, officials say the City of Albemarle’s Downtown Social District will cover the area from the Five Points District to the East to Market Station to the West with North Street to the North and South Street to the South as the boundaries.

The social district will be in effect from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

“Downtown Albemarle has incredible views of the natural beauty that surrounds our city. A social district will add even more vibrancy to our downtown and allow everyone to enjoy our outdoor spaces to their full potential,” said Albemarle Main Street Manager Joy Almond.

Officials say businesses without an ABC permit in the social district may allow visitors to bring alcoholic beverages inside their location.

Any businesses looking to participate in the new social district will need to register and complete an orientation process, according to a news release.

Officials say businesses located within the social district are no obligated to participate in the program.

“The social district will further enhance retail shopping in downtown Albemarle. We’ve heard overwhelmingly from our local business community that they see this as a valuable addition to the experience they offer,” said Albemarle Main Street Manager Joy Almond.

City staff anticipates the implementation of the Downtown Albemarle Social District to occur in August of 2022.

Officials say rules for the social districts can be found here.