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Jackson city council approval revives plans for downtown social district

Giovanna Gomes

After some setbacks, Downtown Jackson is on its way to getting a social district. Council members approved permits this week for eight businesses and restaurants.

Jackson City Council members had previously approved the creation of a social district in 2021.

A social district allows patrons to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages within a designated area.

The approved boundary in Jackson spans from Louis Glick Highway to the north and Washington Avenue to the south, and Martin Luther King Boulevard to the east and Blackstone Street to the west.

However, in 2021 the Downtown Development Authority was unable to garner at least 50% participation for the program. A minimum of eight bars or restaurants is required to implement a social district. With only five businesses on board, plans were delayed.

In order to sell alcohol in a social district, participating businesses and restaurants need approval from the city and need to obtain a Michigan LCC Social District permit from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

This year, the Downtown Development Authority was able to draw interest from eight businesses and restaurants. The following businesses submitted applications:

  • Urban Restaurants LLC dba Veritas
  • Veritas Vineyard LLC dba Grand River Brewery
  • The Crazy Cowboy, LLC
  • Dirty Bird Investments, LLC
  • Islas Nite Lite
  • MCGA LLC dba Junkyard Dog
  • Axe Play, LLC
  • DL Watts Enterprises, LLC

Council members unanimously approved their applications Tuesday.

The social district is expected to be fully implemented in the spring of 2023.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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