Entertainment district task force invites businesses to their second meeting for perspective

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)-The entertainment district task force, which is seeking the pros and cons of allowing of age adults to walk around downtown from restaurant to venue with beer or wine in their hand, met for the second time today. 

They invited two business owners, one from the north and south side to get their perspective.  

George Levesque, executive director for the Paramount Theater, says he as more restaurants have opened in downtown Abilene, he sees packed parking and long waits for dinner. 

“And then they kind of suddenly drain at about 7 o clock, they all come to the paramount, the come to a movie, and when they leave, guess what they do? They keep going,” said Levesque. 

And they are going to other bars and restaurants. 

“I want to see one downtown and I want to have entertainment, restaurants and cultural on both sides of the tracks,” said local developer Tim Smith. 

Task force members asked Smith lots of questions about safety with drivers. 

“My concern is getting back there safely, so we don’t increase our DUI rates, our DWI rates,” said a task force member. 

They board also voiced their concerns for underage drinking and over consumption. 

“The cocktails are 10 to 14 dollars, per cocktail,” said Smith. 

At Smith’s cocktail lounge, he says people are not there to get drunk. 

“If you want the 99-cent booze, you’re on another part of town, going to some other place,” said Levesque. 

And since opening Smith has not had any major issues with customers over consuming. 

Which is why he thinks having an open container rule would be appropriate with the city’s long-term goals to promote downtown businesses. 

“If there is more happening downtown, there is more happening at the paramount,” said Levesque.  

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