NORFOLK, Va. - Tougher guidelines for bars and restaurants at Norfolk'sWaterside Marketplace could be the answer to changing its image. OnTuesday, Norfolk council members are scheduled to vote on thespecial exemptions for several bars and restaurants at Waterside.
These exemptions would only be for existing bars andrestaurants currently serving alcohol. The vote will likely affectsome of those businesses, including but not limited to: Have a NiceDay Cafe and Bar Norfolk. New bars and restaurants wishing to servealcohol may not be able to.
City council members will vote on applications for alcoholpermits for Waterside restaurants and establishments at 2:30 p.m.Tuesday. If the council votes as expected, the venues will nolonger be allowed to serve beer, wine or mixed drinks -- effectiveimmediately. Some others will be able to keep their alcoholpermits.
It's not one thing in particular that's caused this action bythe council, but several acts of violence, including numerous callsto 911 for incidents at Waterside and its garage. City leaders andWaterside management has supported new rules after recent crimesthis year. In March, inside the Waterside Garage, two people wereshot, one of them died. Police say both the victims and suspect hadrecently left Waterside bars. These recent crimes have taintedWaterside's reputation.
A WAVY.com investigation in March also revealed that Norfolkpolice responded to more than 300 police calls at the WatersideMarketplace and Garage within 2008 and 2009.
Leaders are now hoping these special exceptions can turnthings around at Waterside. The special exemptions would allow thebars and restaurants to continue selling alcohol, but also requirethem to list everything done at their business.
Vice Mayor Anthony Burfoot has been a vocal supporter of thespecial exemptions saying, "by having it with the individualbusinesses in Waterside, we can go after those who don't want totow the line or be in compliance with the city's guidelines."
With tougher rules possibly coming today, Waterside's imagecould soon be changing.
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