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Chattanooga city council approves open containers ordinance on Station Street

With a vote of 8 to 1, Chattanooga city council have approved an ordinance allowing people to openly drink on Station Street in Chattanooga. (Image: WTVC)

With a vote of 8 to 1, Chattanooga city council have approved an ordinance allowing people to openly drink on Station Street in Chattanooga.

The ordinance allows people to drink beer and alcohol on Station Street. However, you have to drink from certain cups labeled Station Street and won't be able to take the drink with you once you leave the specific area.

Councilman Chip Henderson was the only "nay" vote.

"I have not supported alcohol related ordinances since I’ve been on the council," said Henderson. "I'm sure this will be violated."


We spoke with Matt Lewis, owner of the Terminal on Station Street, about the ordinance earlier in November.

"It’s been in the works for quite a while," said Lewis, "Obviously, we have a vested interest in Station Street being successful and we think it would bring kind of a cool adult tourism vibe to that area that’s not really necessarily everywhere in town."

He doesn't oppose the ordinance, but he is concerned that people follow the rules, and that Chattanooga Police find a way to hold patrons who break the rules accountable without punishing the restaurants.

Some Chattanooga residents say they hope the city doesn't plan to expand the ordinance to other areas of town.

"I don’t see our city being that kind of venue," said Charles Adamson. "You got your innovation disctrict, your entertainment district , now youre gonna have your alcohol open container district."

But there are many Chattanoogans who love the idea.

"I think it'll be a pretty cool thing," said resident Blake Tingen. He says he just moved to the area three months ago. "It'll probably be good for the businesses in the area and I think it'll bring a pretty good vibe to this area."

"I'm for more things happening here," said Jessice Nunn. She's plays live music at some of the bars on Station Street. "It’s a good opportunity for people to come out and see the arts side of Chattanooga."

Now that it has been approved, the ordinance could go into effect in two weeks.

News Channel 9 asked a city spokesperson if it's ever allowed open containers on its streets before.. We'll have an update when we get that answer.

Depend on us to update this story as we learn more details.

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