Huntsville has a new entertainment district, as the Huntsville City Council approved the designation for Bridge Street Town Centre at Thursday’s meeting.
Bridge Street will become Huntsville’s fifth entertainment district in early June, which officials with the shopping center said will enhance the visitor experience and opens doors to new events and features at Bridge Street.
What the ‘purple cup district’ designation means
In 2012, the Alabama Legislature enabled cities to create districts that allowed pedestrians to have open containers within the parameters of the district. To complement the outdoor activities within these districts, patrons are allowed to purchase an alcoholic beverage from a Permittee and carry it outdoors to consume.
Over the years, the City of Huntsville sought to revamp outdoor alcohol consumption regulations by first expanding patio dining and then creating arts and entertainment districts.
“These districts are special because they’re one more quality-of-life amenity our citizens can enjoy. They offer an opportunity to visit with good friends in a casual way and maybe even make some new friends. It’s bringing people from all backgrounds together, and that’s what we’re all about.”Mayor Tommy Battle
The districts are often referred to as “purple cup districts” because alcoholic beverages are served in distinctive purple cups. Bridge Street will become the fifth entertainment district in Huntsville joining:
- Quigley/Meridian: Meridian district merged into Quigley district with connections through the Gateway Greenway and along Meridian Street. Quigley encompasses the heart of downtown Huntsville, including the Courthouse Square, Big Spring Park, Von Braun Center, Huntsville Museum of Art, the Lumberyard area and surrounding restaurants and bars. Its namesake is E.P. Quigley, was a surveyor who created a street map of Huntsville 115 years ago.
- MidCity: Research Park Boulevard to the west, University Drive to the north and Old Monrovia Road to the east. It encompasses The Camp, Top Golf, REI Mountain Climbing, Dave & Buster’s, Wahlburgers, Holiday Inn and Twin Peaks.
- S.R. Butler Green: Encompasses the current Campus No. 805 complex and stretches east toward downtown to include the Salty Nut brewery and several adjacent areas that face Clinton Avenue. The district extends west of Campus No. 805, down 4th street, to include the Stovehouse Complex.
- Village of Providence: Along Providence Main Street.
The advantages of becoming an entertainment district
Officials with Bridge Street Town Centre believe the entertainment district designation will benefit the shopping center — which includes 550,000 square feet of retail space and encompasses more than 100 acres — and its tenants.
The hope is that the new designation will keep people at the shopping center longer, which will increase the number of customers for the retailers at Bridge Street.
“Having this new designation will help lengthen the amount of time visitors stay at the center, which will increase traffic to the current retailers and restaurants. It will also allow Bridge Street to bring in new restaurant concepts that will benefit from being able to offer drinks to go.”Haley Buie, Bridge Street marketing manager
In essence, the more time people are hanging out at Bridge Street, the more likely they will be to spend money there.