Fountain Row set to expand hours to 7 days a week
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Beginning this spring, Fountain Row, Bowling Green’s entertainment destination center, will begin operating seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fountain Row currently allows customers to purchase alcohol and carry it publicly within the center’s designated boundaries, provided that the beverages are in approved, single-use cups. Hours are currently limited to Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“Going from two days a week to every day of the week will allow for more businesses to have events on weekdays instead of just weekends, and hopefully be a catalyst for more activity, organically, around the rest of the days of the week,” said Telia Butler, Bowling Green’s downtown development coordinator.
Fountain Row is one of many EDCs scattered throughout the commonwealth, and city officials say that the center was modeled after the success of other communities.
Butler says, “We hoped, based on what Owensboro, Paducah, Frankfort all these other cities had seen, that when they started small, and things went well, the community was responsible, they got bigger and bigger and bigger.”
After a successful initial phase of operating two days a week, local business owners and city officials alike agreed that expanding hours was the best course of action.
“We wanted to set a conversation with all of our participating bars and restaurants and downtown stakeholders anyway at the start of this year to kind of look back and say, ‘Okay, How did we do? Was this successful so far? What did we need to do to change it? What would you like to see moving forward? And the resounding request was, “Yes, yes, no complaints, let’s keep going,” said Butler.
With alcohol being publicly available throughout the full week, public safety was a main concern for businesses and city officials. This led to extensive conversations with law enforcement and increased law enforcement visibility at large downtown events.
Butler said, “We talked to the police department to see what kind of impact the current Friday to Saturday, 11 to 9 hours was seeing when it comes to safety and policing and cleanliness, and police did not have any higher call numbers about issues from that 11 to 9 time.”
While there is no official date for when hours will be extended, Butler hopes that it can be done by the end of March to accommodate spring and summer community events.
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