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Little Rock Creates SoMa Entertainment District, Expands River Market District

2 min read

The Little Rock Board of Directors last week approved the creation of a temporary entertainment district in the South Main neighborhood and an expansion of the existing River Market Entertainment District.

Both districts are spaces in which individuals ages 21 and older can carry alcoholic beverages in approved cups throughout all public spaces and participating commercial properties.

South of I-630 in the SoMa area, a temporary, eight-week district has been established between the 12th and 17th blocks of Main Street. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

“We were happy to work with the restaurant owners in SoMa to help create this temporary entertainment district as a way to increase the viability of the SoMa outdoor dining room,” Gabe Holmstrom, executive director for the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, said in the release. “As we are all aware, these are unprecedented times, and we appreciate the city’s board of directors’ flexibility to assist us as we help support our local businesses.”

The River Market district is now open daily, from 8 a.m. to midnight. The boundaries have been expanded one block south of President Clinton Avenue to Second Street, between Rock Street and River Market Avenue.

“This new law creates consistent operating hours making it easier for our district restaurants, bars, and shops to promote,” said Gretchen Hall, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO, in a news release. “Additionally, it allows guests to enjoy an adult beverage in expanded outdoor areas within the district. Today more than ever, we continue to look for added ways to promote and support our hospitality industry partners as we navigate these unpredictable waters.”

District patrons who wish to carry their beverages outside will be required to wear a wristband given to them when they receive their cup. In addition, all drinks taken outside must be in official district cups.

Alcoholic beverages may not be taken from one bar or restaurant into another, though an empty district cup can be brought from one establishment into another. Patrons cannot bring any outside alcohol into the districts or take any alcohol purchased in the districts outside the districts.

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