Royal Oak approves social district with outdoor drinking

The city’s Downtown Development Authority hopes to have the district in place sometime in May

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The city of Royal Oak is preparing for some foot traffic with a new social district in the downtown area.

People would get a drink in a marked cup and stroll through Main Street as well as side streets connecting about 40 bars and restaurants. The district was requested by the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and approved by the city.

The DDA is expected to invest $200,000 into the project.

Sandy Kish, general manager of Lockhart’s BBQ, expects the district to help.

“People can get a drink with us... and they can walk around, especially in the summer, and then come back when their table is ready,” she said.

The idea of a social district was approved by the state and is catching on fast in other communities.

“It gives us a chance to be out and not have to worry about making a reservation... or we have to wait 20 minutes for a table,” said Phillip Nelson.

The DDA is hoping to have the district in place sometime in May, operating from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

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