Eustis voting to allow open alcoholic beverages in downtown streets



EUSTIS, Fla. - Eustis city leaders are hoping to make their downtown more of a hot spot for nightlife.

They will be making a final vote Thursday on expanding alcohol rules to allow open alcoholic beverages on the street several nights a week.

Em Pascarella hosts a car show downtown once a month and says adding the ability to drink on the street can't hurt business.

"The whole thing is to get people downtown," Pascarella said.

If the ordinance passes, not only will people be able to drink alcohol in the downtown area, they'll be able to walk down to the city park and drink on the waterfront.

The area where drinking is allowed will be restricted to just a few blocks and the hours will be limited to between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with the exception of special city events like New Year's Eve or Fourth of July.

Nick O'Reilly is a server downtown and expects Eustis to be able to compete for the Lake County nightlife if the change takes effect, which is likely, considering the first reading of the ordinance passed 4 to 1.

"I think it's a great idea. We have a bunch of new bars opening in town," O'Reilly said. "We have the best sunset, we have the whole downtown feel. I think it's going to be a wonderful thing."

If approved, the new rules go into effect immediately.