Montgomery's Entertainment District Expands; Other Areas Feeling Left Out


By Jessica Gertler

Montgomery's Entertainment District is expanding its boundaries. It now includes parts of Dexter Avenue and Maxwell Boulevard. But will it hurt the nightlife in other areas of the city?

City leaders say they've decided to expand the Entertainment District, or what some call The Alley, to keep people coming back to Montgomery. But bar owners in other parts of the city say they feel left out.

"Cloverdale is self-sustaining, and they're throwing money into Downtown, and we're not seeing a penny of it," says Shawn Stutsman, a bartender at Cloverdale's Leroy Bar.

A battle Stutsman says he's been fighting for quite some time.

The Alley in downtown Montgomery, or also known as the Entertainment District, will expand it's boundaries meaning folks can carry alcoholic beverages a half mile further.

Last night, city council members approved the new territory adding parts of Dexter Avenue and Maxwell Boulevard.

But no mention of the Colverdale District.

"It bothers us in the point that we're not getting the money or the advertising," says Stutsman.

But Mayor Todd Strange says the city isn't excluding Cloverdale on purpose. He says the blame falls on the legislation, which states you have to have four establishments within a half mile radius.

"There's two separate Cloverdales. You can't get within that half mile both of those hubs," he says.

Residents like Brian Martin are hoping  that changes.

"Why not build on what they've started here, and then work on the other areas later," he says.

Until then, others can't wait to enjoy the new area.

"There's not a lot of space to walk and drink, and that would really bring a lot more sunshine to this community," says resident Corinthians Washington.

And for Stutsman, he says he'll keep his fingers crossed hoping the city will shine some light on Cloverdale.

Mayor Strange says since the Entertainment District has gone in, business and foot traffic have gone up.

He also says the city will consider a second Entertainment District in the future.

The ordinance passed last night also allows businesses in that area to place signs within 10 feet of their entrance.

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