Designated Outdoor Drinking Areas Gets Thumbs Up In Kansas
Kansas cities may soon be able to designate districts where patrons can move among bars, restaurants and entertainment venues, drinks in hand.
Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a bill that would allow patrons to walk out of a bar or restaurant and into a clearly marked common consumption area with a drink in a marked cup. Local governments would have to pass ordinances to set up consumption areas and surrounding bars and restaurants could ask to participate.
Lawmakers who supported the bill call it an economic development tool. The bill would modernize Kansas' liquor laws and help Kansas communities compete with cities across state lines. The state, home to early 20th century temperance movement leader Carry Nation, has a history of tight liquor laws. Its Prohibition period lasted nearly 70 years, and voters didn't approve the sale of drinks in bars open to the general public until 1986.