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The Dairy Block could be a natural spot for common consumption.
The Dairy Block could be a natural spot for common consumption.
Mark Antonation

Reader: Denver Is Already Full of Bros Who Can't Handle Their Booze

It's been almost a decade since the Colorado Legislature passed a law allowing common consumption areas, and while municipalities like Glendale and Greeley have long embraced the concept, Denver is finally taking the idea seriously.

A Denver City Council committee heard a proposal from the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses last week, and learned that the plan does not call for a citywide boozefest. "It is not Las Vegas; it is not Bourbon Street," says Eric Escudero, a spokesperson for Excise and Licenses.

Instead, there will be mini-Bourbon Streets during the city's proposed five-year pilot program. And that's enough for some readers.

Says Brendan: 

I'll drink to that.

Explains Alison: 

We've been doing this in downtown Greeley every Friday all summer long for eight years, and have never had an issue or a problem. We keep it very family-friendly and fun. If it's done right, there's nothing to worry about. It's no different than a special-event permit, except that the bars and restaurants get to benefit from the sales rather than vendors brought in. Keep in mind, they also have to pick up the costs. I don't see a mention in the article anything about the requirement to have a Board of Directors for each common consumption area and annual reporting, etc....

Responds Jason:

 There is also the issue of a significantly higher basic bro density in downtown Denver. I predict a larger number of pedestrian-involved accidents within the confines of those "associations."

Suggests Jodi:  

Can we also extend closing hours to 4 a.m. already? Would definitely help cab surge pricing and reduce violence at bar close, if patrons can just peter out instead of all being thrown out all at once.

Notes Sheila: 

Denver is already full of bros who can't handle their booze.

Comments Robert:

 God forbid we finish our drink before heading to the next place...

Adds Jesse: 

Or... You could just finish your drink, pay your tab and proceed with your evening. I'm all for a good road soda from time to time, but this is a very dumb idea.

And Kari concludes:

 That’s going to be a shit show. Denver is already drunk AF....

Under the proposed Denver program, which could be introduced by mid-2020, bars and restaurants will be able to band together and gain official recognition from the city as "promotional associations." The associations will be able to apply for common consumption area licenses, which last for a year and can be renewed annually; the bars would also have to propose an entertainment district, in which the consumption area will be located.

Venues in Larimer Square, for example, could band together, get these authorizations, and turn the area into even more of a playground for drinkers. Escudero lists Dairy Block in LoDo, Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, the Great Hall at Denver International Airport and parts of the 16th Street Mall as other possible locations for common consumption areas.

In a common consumption area, a patron who buys a drink at one bar could then take it into the common consumption area and meet up with a friend who's bought a drink at another bar. But patrons would not be able to take a drink purchased at one bar into a different bar.

Applications for one-year licenses would cost $250 for the initial proposal and then $250 for each renewal. Public hearings would be held for each common consumption area application, during which members of the public and representatives from nearby schools and registered neighborhood organizations would be able to voice their opinions. "People who don’t want this in their neighborhood need to know that it’s not coming to their neighborhood unless they want it," says Escudero.

Do you want Denver to have common-consumption areas? Post a comment or email your thoughts to cafe@westword.com. You can see the city proposal here.

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