Updated: Tuesday, 18 Aug 2009, 2:20 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 18 Aug 2009, 6:24 AM EDT
NORFOLK, Va. - Tougher guidelines for bars and restaurants at Norfolk's
Waterside Marketplace could be the answer to changing its image. On
Tuesday, Norfolk council members are scheduled to vote on the
special exemptions for several bars and restaurants at Waterside.
These exemptions would only be for existing bars and restaurants currently serving alcohol. The vote will likely affect some of those businesses, including but not limited to: Have a Nice Day Cafe and Bar Norfolk. New bars and restaurants wishing to serve alcohol may not be able to.
City council members will vote on applications for alcohol permits for Waterside restaurants and establishments at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. If the council votes as expected, the venues will no longer be allowed to serve beer, wine or mixed drinks -- effective immediately. Some others will be able to keep their alcohol permits.
It's not one thing in particular that's caused this action by the council, but several acts of violence, including numerous calls to 911 for incidents at Waterside and its garage. City leaders and Waterside management has supported new rules after recent crimes this year. In March, inside the Waterside Garage, two people were shot, one of them died. Police say both the victims and suspect had recently left Waterside bars. These recent crimes have tainted Waterside's reputation.
A WAVY.com investigation in March also revealed that Norfolk police responded to more than 300 police calls at the Waterside Marketplace and Garage within 2008 and 2009.
Leaders are now hoping these special exceptions can turn things around at Waterside. The special exemptions would allow the bars and restaurants to continue selling alcohol, but also require them to list everything done at their business.
Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot has been a vocal supporter of the special exemptions saying, "by having it with the individual businesses in Waterside, we can go after those who don't want to tow the line or be in compliance with the city's guidelines."
With tougher rules possibly coming today, Waterside's image could soon be changing.
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