HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Short Pump Town Center shoppers could soon be spotted toting their wallets, purses and…cocktails? The mall applied for a commercial license with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control that would permit restaurant customers to take more than just food to-go.

Jean Herbert frequents the Short Pump area. She isn’t totally against the potential new policy, but she does have some reservations.

“It is a potential recipe for disaster,” she said.

Herbert said encouraging drinking in the mall’s common space could benefit businesses at the expense of vulnerable customers.

“I think when you’re loosened up you are much more willing to make purchases,” Herbert said.

Short Pump Town Center is often regarded for its family-oriented experience. Herbert also worries the increased flow of alcohol could result in a potentially chaotic environment. If the mall does ultimately obtain the license, Herbert recommends the mall limit the hours in which people can freely walk around with open containers to combat the impact of adults who may over-indulge.

“I think they get rowdy without the alcohol,” Herbert said. “So I can only imagine how well you can reason with a 20-something getting wild and crazy at the mall.”

A spokesperson for the Town Center reiterated that people would not be permitted to take alcoholic beverages off the premises or into the parking lots. The license would mandate that open containers be filled exclusively from restaurants in the plaza.

Kristen Eickhoff is an Uber and Lyft driver in the Short Pump area. She has her reservations as well, but for the most part, she believes that this updated open-container policy wouldn’t have too drastic an impact on the mall’s environment.

“I don’t think there’s a big problem with that,” Eickhoff said. “I think people will probably do it anyway and have a Yeti cup full of something if they’re out doing whatever.”

Eickhoff and Herbert agreed that in order for the new policy to be integrated in the Short Pump community smoothly, people would have to be willing to comply with guidelines, like one that prohibits customers from bringing drinks off the property.

Other measures shoppers felt could ensure a seamless adoption of the new rules include increasing security in the area, paying close attention to parking lots to prevent drinkers from getting behind the wheel and limiting the amount of alcohol people can consume.

A spokesperson for Short Pump Town Center said they hope to hear a decision within the next three to six months in order to implement the new open-container policy by spring of 2023.