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City of Charleston proposes midnight cut-off on alcohol for future businesses

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Future businesses in downtown Charleston may not be able to sell alcohol after midnight. The City is proposing a moratorium in an effort to get a better variety of merchants on King and Meeting Streets.

"It's a good time now to put the pause button on what's happening in downtown and look at everything,” says council member Mike Seekings. “We're looking at mobility. We're looking at businesses. We're looking at livability."

Seekings, who fully supports the proposal, says the bar industry has taken off. He says the amended ordinance would give other businesses a chance to succeed as well.

"The midnight cut-off really talks to the alcohol-based establishments, late night alcohol-based establishments. We want to make sure we have a balance, and, perhaps, when we go back and do this inventory that industry and that business has gotten a little ahead of everything else."

Seekings says it's about creating a city that is sustainable.

"The city needs to be a vibrant place. It's good for people who come for 72 hours, who are living here for 72 years."

The proposal spans King Street from Broad to Poplar and a large section of Meeting Street.

"We're not targeting anybody. What we're doing as a city is we're saying hey it's time for us to take a deep breath, take one step back and look at our city in the big picture. Put it all under one umbrella and figure out how we go forward from here.

The midnight cut-off would only apply to future businesses, and it would not apply to hotels. City Council will vote on the amended ordinance Tuesday.

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