BY BETH GOHS, CONTRIBUTOR
Selling liquor on sidewalks is illegal in Boyne City, preventing restaurant owners from serving alcohol at their outdoor tables.
The law was visited a few years prior but efforts were not successful; at the March 15 Boyne City Commission meeting the law was once again revisited when some concerned citizens spoke out on the matter.
“I would like to suggest the commission approve the liquor license—it’s been successful in other communities and would be a nice asset in downtown,” said Glen Catt, business developer.
“I also believe the concern from last time can be compromised and can be implemented on a trial and error basis to see how it works from year to year.”
Scott McPherson, Boyne City Planning Director, told the commission they must add the item to the agenda for a future meeting.
The earliest the law could be adopted would be late-June.
“I would like to echo Glen’s comments. This was considered a couple years ago and it was voted down,” said Jim Baumann, Executive Director of the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce. “I just had a gut feeling that the citizenry supports this idea.”
Baumann said he conducted a survey asking if the people would be in favor of allowing sales of liquor on the sidewalks.
He claims 344 people, or 74 percent of those surveyed, supported the idea of alcohol sales on sidewalks.
“Years ago, we discussed it, the city commission endorsed it, main street endorsed it, the chamber endorsed it,” he said. “The chamber had a meeting about it this morning—we discussed it again and we endorse it.”
Multiple members of the public spoke on the subject, encouraging the idea of selling liquor on sidewalks as a niche to draw tourists to Boyne during summer.
• Ryan Moskal said, “As a resident and as a business owner, I also support this.”
• “We very much would like to see this put forth and are willing to work with you on any issues from the past,” said Kyle Marshall of Magnum Hospitality.
• Ben Van Dam said, “Add my support. I think it would be one more characteristic to bring more people into our city businesses and the ambiance.”
• “My wife and I and our young daughter dine in town and go to ‘Stroll the streets’ and (are) born and raised in this area,” said Matthew Burton. “I don’t see the downsides outweighing any upsides to this. Dining on sidewalks I think it’s a huge draw. It would just add a lot to the city.”
• “Outside dining adds a lot to the area. And, being a resident coming downtown and seeing the vibrant downtown area, and what it can do can be a great thing,” said Mike Devany of Boyne Mountain… “[I]t would be a great experience for all involved and would be a really nice touch for downtown Boyne City.”