RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Beginning next week, a new open container policy will go into effect at Stony Point Fashion Park – allowing shoppers to take their boozy beverage from select restaurants to-go and walk around the outdoor mall.
The program will begin on Monday, Oct. 9, according to Howard Levine of Second Horizon, a real estate investment firm that owns Stony Point.
All of this is made possible by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) commercial lifestyle center license — allowing guests to consume alcohol within designated areas.
The firm has been waiting for approval of the license since June and was finally granted approval on Sept. 28. Levine expressed enthusiasm for the open container policy and said this is only the beginning of the projects.
“There’s a number of ways to integrate the license into events and programming we have at the shopping center,” Levine said.
The program requires each vendor to sell alcohol in branded cups with the restaurant’s logo on them, but Levine said he doesn’t expect each participating vendor to have their to-go cups ready in time.
Restaurants expected to participate are Stumpy’s Hatchet House, P.F. Chang’s, Eggspectation, Latitude Seafood Co., CineBistro and Verseau Bistro.
Stumpy’s Hatchet House is in the heart of the mall and the general manager, Brett Francis said this new open container policy will not only benefit his business but bring new life and revenue to the mall.
“We’re super excited for it. This is already a very pedestrian mall. A lot of people walking around and everything,” Francis said. “But we think open containers are going to have people stay that extra hour to connect and actually stay in the shops and come into the stores and stuff a little bit more.”
Latoya Powell and her friends love coming to the area for a girls’ night and said they can’t wait to participate.
“Something like this feels a little fun. And I mean, I think it’ll be a cool thing to do,” Powell said. “Maybe it’ll even encourage some outside time. I know we’re going into fall, which, in my opinion, is one of the best seasons.”
And with the holiday season approaching, Francis said this might make it even more festive.
“I think it’s going to be a lot more people walking around all times of the year, not just during the exciting times of the months,” Francis said.