King Street business owner says too many bars are bad for business

Published: Jun. 3, 2014 at 8:28 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A King Street business owner says too many bars is bad for business.

Alan Rovick, who owns George's Loan Company on upper King Street is hoping a proposed ordinance will bring back more retail stores to that part of town.

Rovick's pawn shop is located in the proposed entertainment district that would force new bars and restaurants to close at midnight.

The zone includes all of King Street, some areas along East Bay Street, the Market area and much of Meeting Street.

"I understand why they want to propose it. They don't want every business on King Street to be a bar and restaurant," said Rovick.

The longtime business owner says that's fine with him.

"All you have is bars and restaurants or late night establishments and then retail doesn't exist. And you're not gonna have clientele to sell to."

Rovick says there just aren't enough retail shops on upper King to give people a reason to shop there. He says the proof is right outside of his door where we saw several empty parking spaces.

Rovick says it's a much different story lower King Street. He says there are a lot more retail shops, more foot traffic and fewer available parking spaces.

"As a retailer, my business is suffering because it's very little people on the street."

Rovick hopes if the bar closing ordinance passes, retailers will have a chance to return to the street, the way it used to be.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen also supports the new ordinance, saying he doesn't want upper King to turn into Bourbon Street.

Numbers provided to Live 5 News show in May of last year, there were 179 arrests in the entertainment district.

In May of this year, police say there were 336 arrests, almost double.

The entertainment district ordinance has been given first reading approval by Charleston City Council. There must be two more readings and a public hearing before it becomes law.

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