Harrison County

Alcohol-filled go cups are a go in Gulfport

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 Skyler Washburn of Gulf Breeze Landscaping walks down Fishbone Alley on Tuesday June 7, 2016, where they are working to convert the area into a tourist attraction connecting area businesses.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Skyler Washburn of Gulf Breeze Landscaping walks down Fishbone Alley on Tuesday June 7, 2016, where they are working to convert the area into a tourist attraction connecting area businesses. SUN HERALD

GULFPORT -- Pedestrians strolling the sidewalks of Coast cities, go cups of alcohol in hand, will have the city of Gulfport to thank.

Gulfport's administration, led by Mayor Billy Hewes, a former state senator, proposed a state go-cup law because of Fishbone Alley, a pedestrian walkway being built downtown as a tourist draw. The law, recently approved by the state Legislature, will take effect July 1. It allows Coast cities and other specified localities to designate entertainment districts where pedestrians can carry go cups of alcohol on the streets.

Gulfport has an ordinance ready to go. The council passed it unanimously Tuesday afternoon. Ordinances also are being drafted in Bay St. Louis, Long Beach, Biloxi and Ocean Springs.

The ordinance Gulfport passed limits go cups to 16 ounces and forbids glass containers. Gulfport's entertainment district covers the waterfront from just east of 18th Avenue to 36th Avenue, including the harbor, and runs north to the CSX railroad tracks in the downtown area.

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Although they can leave establishments with go cups, pedestrians can't walk into a restaurant or bar carrying a drink from another business.

Gulfport's ordinance will arrive just ahead of Fishbone Alley, which should be finished in four to six weeks.

The alley runs behind restaurants and bars where proprietors are eager to capitalize on the traffic they hope it will create. The city patterned the alley -- featuring lights, vertical landscaping and historic brick pavers -- after Printer's Alley in Nashville.

Wesley Muller and Karen Nelson, Sun Herald staff writers contributed to this report.

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