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Social Districts

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In an effort to increase economic activity and vibrancy in the City of Greenville's downtown area, the City Council during its August 18, 2022 meeting approved the creation of two social districts.2022 Social District Logo (Uptown)

Social districts allow people to drink beer, wine, or cocktails as they walk through a defined area of downtown Greenville. In Greenville, there are two social districts - the Uptown Social District and the Dickinson Avenue Social District.

Both of Greenville's social districts will operate Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., beginning Thursday, October 6, 2022.

Social districts have been implemented in various towns and cities across the state since the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation in 2022 allowing municipalities to designate areas where open containers of alcoholic beverages purchased from a licensed ABC permittee can be consumed outdoors, on sidewalks, and on the property of participating businesses that do not have an ABC permit.2022 Social District Logo (Dickinson)

Social District Boundaries

There are two approved social districts in the City of Greenville — the Uptown Social District and the Dickinson Avenue Social District. Each district operates independently, and alcoholic beverages cannot be taken from one social district to the other.

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be possessed or consumed on any property owned, occupied, or controlled by the City (including parking lots and the Fourth Street Parking Garage) unless that property has been designated by the City as eligible for the consumption of alcohol under the rules of the social district and applicable state law. This applies to all City-owned properties located within a social district unless otherwise noted.

Maps of the two social districts are included below.

2022 Social District Map (Uptown) 2022 Social District Map (Dickinson)

Participating and Non-Participating Locations

Businesses located within a social district boundary have the option to participate in the social district. Interested businesses can submit this form to identify whether they want to opt-in or opt-out of the district.

Participating businesses (ABC permittees and non-permittees) must display signage indicating their level of participation. The files for the signage are provided below for businesses to download and print.

Uptown sold here sign                       Dickinson sold here sign

UPTOWN SOLD HERE                   DICKINSON SOLD HERE

 

Uptown welcomed here sign                        Dickinson welcomed here sign

UPTOWN WELCOMED HERE       DICKINSON WELCOMED HERE

The signs below are also available for any non-participating businesses that may want to post signage. Signage is not required for non-participating businesses.

UPTOWN NOT PERMITTED SIGN                        DICKINSON NOT PERMITTED

UPTOWN NOT PERMITTED          DICKINSON NOT PERMITTED

Social District Requirements

The social district must meet the following requirements under North Carolina law:

  • An alcoholic beverage purchased for consumption in the social district must:
    • be consumed in the social district
    • be disposed of before exiting the social district unless entering a business within the social district that allows alcoholic beverages to be brought inside the business.people in the streets at a special event
ABC Permittee Requirements

A permittee located and selling alcoholic beverages within the social district must meet the following requirements under North Carolina law:

  • The permittee must:
    • only sell and serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on its licensed premises.
    • only sell alcoholic beverages for consumption in a container that meets all of the following requirements:
      • The container clearly identifies the permittee from which the alcoholic beverage was purchased.
      • The container clearly displays a logo or some other kind of mark that is unique to the social district in which it will be consumed.
      • The container is not comprised of glass.
      • The container displays, in no less than 12-point font, the statement "Drink Responsibly - Be 21."
      • The container shall not hold more than 16 fluid ounces.

*Below are Adobe Illustrator files for the required container designs. Participating businesses can provide these files to the vendor producing the cups and enter their business name in the space provided.

Uptown Social District Cup Template

Dickinson Avenue Social District Cup Template

Patron Requirements

The possession and consumption of an alcoholic beverage in a social district is subject to all of the following requirements of North Carolina law:

  • Only alcoholic beverages purchased from a permittee located in the social district may be possessed and consumed.
  • Alcoholic beverages must:
    • only be in designated social district containers
    • only be possessed and consumed during the days and hours set by the City:
      • Thursday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • A single patron cannot be sold or delivered alcoholic beverages in excess of:
    • Not more than two alcoholic beverage drinks at one time of any of the following:
      • A malt beverage, unfortified wine, fortified wine
    • Not more than one alcoholic beverage at one time if an alcoholic beverage drink is a mixed beverage or contains spiritous liquor.
  • A person must dispose of any alcoholic beverage before exiting the social district unless entering a business within the social district that allows alcoholic beverages to be brought inside the business.
Special Events

North Carolina law allows a special event located within a social district to receive a permit from the ABC Commission for the sale of alcohol within the event area. The special event permittee may also participate in a social district if the requirements under North Carolina law to do so are followed, including allowing beverages with social district cups to be carried from and into the special event area.Craig Campbell performing on stage

Participation in the social district is at the special event holder's discretion. Event organizers will have the choice to allow social district beverages within their event footprint or not.

The City of Greenville Special Events Coordinator can work with event organizers to determine their preference.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • Can a convenience store sell alcoholic beverages to-go as part of the social district?

  • Can I bring my own alcoholic beverage into a social district?

  • Can I take an alcoholic beverage in my social district cup home with me?

  • Can I take my alcoholic beverage into a vehicle within the social district?

  • How can participating businesses be identified?

  • How does a business opt-in to the social district?

  • How many alcoholic drinks can I purchase at one time in a social district?

  • How many social districts are there in Greenville?

  • How will the social district be enforced?

  • How will the social district boundaries be marked?

  • What are the days and hours of operation for the social districts?

  • What cups will be used for the social district?

  • What happens if I leave the social district boundaries with an alcoholic beverage?

  • What if I am a retailer, and I do not want alcohol inside of my business?

  • What is a social district?

  • When does the social district go into effect?