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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Liquor license availability area expanded

Roxana Vasquez
Roxana Vasquez / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA alumni Gretchen Anderson, right, Kara Piepmeyer, Shannon Pidd, and Genevieve Gamboa eat lunch at noon at the Frog & Firkin on University Blvd., Monday, September 1, 2008. The friends enjoy living the UA campus. Every year the city of Tucson grows with new students from out of state attending the university.

A night on the town might end up being a little closer to campus than before.

The city of Tucson is seeking to establish an entertainment district that will allow businesses to apply for liquor licenses even if they are less than 300 feet from a school or church, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Star.

The district, known as the Greater Downtown Entertainment District, would cover areas along the streetcar route, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Four years ago the Arizona State Legislature passed a law allowing for the creation of such entertainment districts.

Managers of businesses near the UA’s campus, especially those on University Boulevard, said they are looking forward to the creation of the proposed district.

Michael Owings, a manager at Frog & Firkin, said he thinks an entertainment district would bring more traffic to University and would be beneficial for the businesses there.

“A lot of businesses on Fourth Avenue bring people here,” Owings said. “People are always walking down here. I don’t think it’s going to affect business negatively for the businesses already here.”

Matt Serventi, a manager at Fuku Sushi, said an entertainment district would be helpful for business during the summer when a majority of students leave.

“I think it would help out business because during the summer most of these places down the street die out,” Serventi said. “All the students leave, so it would really help get some more locals in here.”

Richard Fifer, a general manager at Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co., said he did not think the creation of an entertainment district would cause any problems for business. Fifer said many clubs downtown are doing very well, including Gentle Ben’s.

The restaurant has not lost any business this year, Fifer said, and has actually had one of its best years ever, so there is not any concern about the district negatively impacting business.

Some local businesses are not quite as optimistic. Amna Al Qaisi, the owner of Sinbad’s Restaurant, said she worries about the increased availability and access to alcohol.

“Of course it will affect business, from my point of view, in a bad way,” Al Qaisi said. “Some people, they drink and they make a big mess. Especially with the age we have here at the University ­… it is not good.”

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