Go-cup brings early celebrations to some cities

Go-cup brings early celebrations to some cities

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Fourth of July celebrations are starting a little early for some Coast businesses. It's now legal for patrons to take their drinks outside bars in designated walkable entertainment districts.

While some cities aren't quite ready, even city officials are celebrating over in Gulfport.

"Gulfport's really happy to have it," said Gulfport City Councilman Rusty Walker. "We've worked very hard to get this Legislation passed. We're happy it starts today."

Gulfport is the epicenter for go-cup movement, having helped write the state law. The new law good news for Brandon Atwell, owner of Murky Waters for both the short and long term.

"Hopefully we can turn this into like a New Orleans style, walk the streets, vendors in the alley way and what not," Atwell said. "This is going to do nothing but help our business."

That includes Eric Thomas, owner of The EO Club.

"I think we've all prepared for some big business," Thomas said. "We've been anticipating this thing for several months, and it's going to be a plus. You know, I think the customers are ready for it. We're ready for it as far as staff wise."

Gulfport resident Melanie Reilly says it's good news for everyone.

"I think it's great for tourists," Reilly said. "I think that it's going to provide an opportunity downtown for us that we haven't had really. Open up opportunities for other businesses to come in."

It's a go for go cups in Biloxi as well.

But it could be days, weeks and even months before other cities get through legal details to sign off on their entertainment districts.

In the meantime, Anthony Portera, owner of Eagle Island Daiquiri Bar & Grill in downtown Long Beach, is well prepared for the extra business with his to-go daiquiri window.

"It's just another outlet, another access point for the bar to sell things, especially on parade days," Portera said. "I mean, that'll be huge. Because we're usually so crowded, you can't even move in here on parade days."

The law allows businesses to have go cups, but it doesn't force them to participate.

While go-cups are allowed in designated areas, patrons are not allowed to take them into other establishments or into their cars.

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