ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT FAQ
General Info | Public Safety and Administration | Businesses | Performers
Q. Where are the Arts & Entertainment Districts?
A. There are two districts in downtown Huntsville--the 96-acre Quigley District includes the Courthouse Square, Washington Square, Von Braun Center and Big Spring Park, and the 10-acre Meridian District includes the Park Place Plaza complex on Meridian Street and Cleveland Avenue.
Q. How will I know if I'm in the Arts & Entertainment District?
A. Look for painted signage on the sidewalks that indicate the boundary lines.
Q. When are the districts open?
A. Unless otherwise specified, the districts are open on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Q. Can patrons bring alcohol into the district?
A. No, patrons cannot bring their own alcoholic beverages into the district.
Q. What are the general rules regarding alcoholic beverages?
A. There are 24 clubs, restaurants and bars (all on-premise alcoholic beverage licensed retailers) in the Quigley and Meridian entertainment districts that may apply for a permit to sell drinks "to go" in a special district plastic cup. Patrons are welcome to explore the Arts & Entertainment district while carrying their drink, however, they will not be able to enter any other licensed establishment with their beverage, including the original place of purchase. Businesses that do not serve alcoholic beverages may elect to allow patrons into their establishments carrying a beverage.
Q. Are there any other restrictions within the district?
A. No alcohol is permitted in parking lots and parking garages.
Q. Can patrons walk with a beverage between the Quigley and Meridian Districts?
A. Unfortunately, no. There is a size restriction (mandated by State law) that precludes the City's ability to create just one district with the entire area desired.
Q. How do I know which restaurants, bars, and clubs are participating?
A. There are currently 24 eligible restaurants within the two districts. Participating establishments have been asked to display signs near their entrance.
Q. Can the official district beverage cup be reused?
A. No, the official district beverage cup may not be reused. It cannot be carried into a licensed establishment and no outside alcohol is permitted.
Q. Can I enter any business with my beverage?
A. It is up to the individual business whether or not to allow alcohol on the premises. This only applies to businesses that do not sell alcohol.
Q. Will the drinks offered be beer and wine only, or will cocktails be sold as well?
A. All beverages are included. Non-alcoholic beverages may be taken out as well.
Q. Why is there a 90 day trial period for the districts?
A. The city intentionally designed a "soft opening" for the district hours to allow the city time to gauge the impact of the district on interested stakeholders, including businesses in the district, property owners, the public, and our affected city departments to make sure that the districts are running smoothly and sustainable over time. We look forward to input from patrons on how the Arts & Entertainment Districts can continue to improve.
Q. What happens after 90 days?
A. The City Council will be revisiting the districts after the first 90 days to determine whether or not changes should be made to size of the districts, their hours of operation, and the regulations that govern them.
Q. Where can I provide feedback about the district in general?
A. We look forward to hearing your feedback via email@example.com and on the City's Imagine Huntsville web site www.imaginehuntsville.com.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND ADMINISTRATION
Q. What is the City's public safety plan for the districts?
A. As always, the City of Huntsville plans on providing a strong police presence to enhance public safety. There will be two policemen on bicycles and two officers in patrol cars during district hours of operation.
Q. What happens if a patron leaves the district with an alcoholic beverage?
A. Patrons will be asked by Huntsville police to pour out their beverage if they carry alcohol outside of the district. Police will focus on education, however, uncooperative citizens can expect to receive a citation and incur a fine.
Q. Who should I call or email with questions or concerns on alcohol related enforcement?
A. Please contact Huntsville Police Sgt. Mark Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Who is responsible for picking up cups and garbage left outside of downtown businesses from the previous evening's entertainment?
A. The City's Operation Green Team will pick up trash the morning after each District night, but it will take a community effort to keep our downtown clean. We are asking all participating businesses to monitor their street fronts and to pick up trash each evening after closing. In turn, we ask all citizens to make an effort to keep downtown a clean and enjoyable place for everyone.
Q. As a business owner with a valid alcohol beverage license, do I need a permit to participate in the Arts & Entertainment District?
A. Yes, all business participants will need an annual permit. It's easy to complete and free of charge. Visit www.huntsvilleal.gov/artsentertainmentdistricts/ and complete the online Permit Application.
Q. Can I pour a customer's already made drink into a to-go cup, or must they purchase a fresh one?
A. One can pour a customer's already made drink into a to-go cup. However, refills of the to-go cups are not allowed.
Q. Can I serve drinks with straws?
Q. Where do I acquire the "to go" cups?
A. Businesses are welcome to purchase their own plastic cups from their preferred vendor, as long as the cups are imprinted with the district logo and do not exceed 16 ounces. The business logo may also be printed on the cup. Businesses will have 30 days from the time they receive their district permit from the City of Huntsville to purchase their printed cups. In the interim, the business may use any plastic cup of their choosing that does not exceed 16 ounces. As an option and a convenience for business owners, the City of Huntsville is working to coordinate the printing of "official" purple to-go cups with district logos and make them available to participating businesses. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Q. Can I use different plastic cups for different types of alcohol, as long as they're 16 ounces or less? (i.e., 16 oz solo cup for beer, 8 oz tumbler for wine, etc.)
A. Yes, as long as the cups have the district logo and do not exceed 16 ounces.
District Logos: Quigley || Meridian
Q. How do I sign up to perform on the square?
A. For the first 90 days, The Arts Council is helping to coordinate performers in the Quigley District. Interested performers can apply, or the public can recommend their favorite groups, at www.artshuntsville.org.
Q. Are the performers being paid?
A. The Arts Council has raised money from sponsors to help pay performers a gratuity in the first 90-days. Sponsors include Historic Huntsville Foundation, Big Spring Partners, Committee of 100, and The Downtown Forty-Seven.
Q. Tell me more about performances in the District.
A. Beginning on June 20 and continuing thru the end of September every Thursday and Friday, the Arts Council will schedule street performers around the downtown square and in Big Spring Park East. The performers will include acoustic musicians and strolling performers. The following is a sample Thursday/Friday performance schedule: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM: Performer(s) on the southeast corner across from Harrison Brothers Hardware, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM: Performer(s) on the northwest corner down from Sam and Greg's, and 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM: Performers in Big Spring Park East. The 2nd and 4th Thursdays will feature block parties; Eustis Street between Franklin and Greene Streets will be closed from 3:00 - 10:30 p.m. There will be no scheduled street performers on July 4th.
Q. How will I know who is performing or what arts activities are taking place?
A. Scheduled entertainment will be listed on The Arts Council's calendar at www.artshuntsville.org/calendar-of-events and on the Our Valley Events calendar at www.ourvalleyevents.com.