Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill that opens the door for smaller eateries in three Jacksonville neighborhoods to serve mixed drinks.
The measure lowers the number of seats a restaurant needs to get a liquor license, from 150 to 100. It also cuts the building size requirement from 2,500 to 1,800 square feet.
Murray Hill, just west of Roosevelt Boulevard, is one of the areas where the law applies. Jason Tetlak, president of the Murray Hill Preservation Association, says the new law will make it easier to market the area.
“This isn’t a neighborhood where we can build new construction so we’ve got to fill in these little spaces that we have available,” he said, “and a measure like this, it gives businesses an opportunity to serve alcohol in a smaller establishment so it gives them sort of an incentive to move into the neighborhood.”
Springfield and San Marco restaurants also stand to benefit from the new requirements. The liquor license change was first applied last year to restaurants in Avondale and Riverside.
A second Jacksonville-specific law signed by the governor this week will let people attending ticketed events in the city’s Stadium District take their beer outside to drink.
The district includes the Baseball Grounds, EverBank Field, Daily’s Place Amphitheater, Veterans Memorial Arena and the Fairgrounds.
Events in the Stadium District associated with New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Gate River Run also fall under the new law.
Businesses that want to offer customers the opportunity to take their alcoholic beverages outside have to pay $100 for a temporary permit.
It’s now up to the Jacksonville City Council to decide how long the temporary permits will be valid. The new law limits that period to three days.