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Grass Valley to reconsider alcohol ban

Come next summer, you could drink wine along with your hamburger at Grass Valley’s Friday Market in front of downtown restaurants, if the City Council votes Tuesday to amend its ban on alcohol consumption in public areas.

Under the current rules, alcohol consumption is prohibited from Grass Valley streets, sidewalks, alleys, parking lots, city parks and other public areas.

Howard Levine, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association, the nonprofit organization that represents downtown businesses and which sponsors most city events, pitched the idea to city officials last year.



Businesses could sell wine, beer or spirits with food service in confined areas, he said. This will increase business and create a terrace feeling, he said, and will benefit restaurants or food-related businesses. For instance, he said, Nevada County’s wineries would be able show off their wines.

The Grass Valley Downtown Association, which gets the permits for the street closures, will not have a wine stand, Levine said, because the association, is not interested in selling alcohol.




Mike Cartelli, owner of the Main Street Cafe & Bar, supports the proposal because alcohol will only be sold in confined areas.

“I think it’s a good idea because it will bring more people to the area,” he said Sunday.

But at the Wall Street Cafe across West Main Street, manager Indigo Dawson said she does not favor selling alcohol on the streets.

“I’ve seen what it does to Nevada City events,” she said. Grass Valley has a better family atmosphere than Nevada City, she said.

In a memorandum to the City Council, Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster said the police staff has researched the proposal with other cities and the Alcohol Beverage Control and has found no reason to oppose the proposal.

The City Council will also consider:

— An appeal by David Wambaugh to overturn the Planning Commission’s decision to turn down his plans to build a drive-through at the corner of French Avenue and Mill Street.

— A proposal to hire a contractor to videotape city meetings.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: Grass Valley City Council, regular meeting

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 125 E. Main St.

INFORMATION: 274-4310


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