Long Beach business owner pushing for to-go cups

Long Beach business owner pushing for to-go cups

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - With the recently passed to-go cup bill in the state legislature, people will be able to take alcoholic drinks outside of bars and restaurants in designated entertainment districts starting on July 1; as long as the city allows it.

Now, Long Beach is joining other communities on the Coast in taking steps to make to-cup cups legal.

"It's probably about five people a day that come through...that want a daiquiri to-go to walk up and down the strip with," said Eagle Island Daiquiri Bar and Grill owner Anthony Portera.

As it stands now, Portera can't allow people to leave his business with a drink in hand. He's going to the Long Beach Board of Aldermen with a proposal to give to-go cups the go ahead, something he thinks would benefit the entire city.

"We have a town green down there that's beautiful," said Portera. "They book concerts and events all the time, so if people could legally have a go drink in their hand it's just going to bring more tourists, more volume and more people want to hang out."

Cities across the Coast are making plans to allow to-go cups, and Long Beach City Alderman Gary Ponthieux doesn't want his city to miss out.

"We want to make sure we're a part of it," said Ponthieux. "We don't want to be left behind."

Rob Stinson lives in Long Beach and operates restaurants in Biloxi and Gulfport. He thinks if to-go cups become a reality on the Coast, the area will have an added selling point to tourists.

"When you look at Biloxi on the beach it makes sense because people always think they can walk in Florida on the beach that way," said Stinson. "Here we'll have the ability to compete with other markets through the entertainment district law."

The to-go cups will be restricted only to designated entertainment districts. Ponthieux says in Long Beach that area should be along Jeff Davis Ave., with the possibility of adding other areas later.

"This entertainment district is the place to start and then we can always put an amendment in later to expand it," said Ponthieux.

The the cups will be discussed in Tuesday's board of aldermen meeting at 5:00 p.m.

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