A plan proposed by the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation and backed by most members of City Council and Mayor John Cranley could pave the way for as many as 21 new liquor licenses downtown.
3CDC has proposed creating two new community entertainment districts downtown. One, called Downtown West, would encompass the areas around the convention center and Fountain Square and allow for six more licenses, all controlled by 3CDC. Another, called Downtown East, would cover much of the rest of downtown and allow for another 15 licenses.
Community entertainment districts allow neighborhoods the ability to secure more liquor licenses from the state of Ohio. They’re created to spur development and entice new residents into an area.
Ten communities in Cincinnati are designated entertainment districts, including Over-the-Rhine; Price Hill; The Banks; the Clifton Heights, University Heights and Fairview area; and Pleasant Ridge.
Currently, Cincinnati is 12 over the allotted 149 liquor licenses allowed by the state based on the city’s population. Cincinnati currently has more than that from licenses it gained before its population dropped.
The state of Ohio won’t revoke the extra licenses, but without the entertainment district designations, it will not issue any more to businesses in the city.
Cincinnati City Council will have to approve the idea before it can head up to Columbus for state approval.
Most council members are on board, though some members have questioned the details of the plan, including the idea that 3CDC would control the licenses within the Downtown West district.