Monterey to allow alcohol in certain outdoor areas

City hopes it'll help boost business downtown

MONTEREY, Calif. - Wining and dining may soon expand within the city of Monterey.  City leaders are making some big changes to the rules when it comes to drinking alcohol in public.  We found out how the city and restaurants plan to make it work. 

"What were looking for is to generate more vitality in the downtown area," said Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala.

Starting in May, businesses will have the chance to allow their guests to sit out on a patio with a glass of wine or pint of beer.  Some restaurants said its going to make a big difference on Alvarado Street.

"It used to be you know you'd come down here get a bite to eat, do a little shopping and more people did it.  The more people that come down here its really good for us," said Alvarado Fish and Steakhouse owner John Digirolamo.

There are some rules to make sure people are consuming safely.

"Those areas will have cordoned areas, fenced areas that will define the space in which people can consume alcohol," said Della Sala.

The city said it looked to some other cities in California in coming up with the change.

"I think of, you know the outside area in San Jose.  Yeah Santana Row, sure does bring a lot of people in there.  You know you can go out there, have a bite to eat, do shopping right next door," said Digirolamo.  

Some residents said they're all for it, as long as people stay in the appropriate area.

"You know if people are getting stupid and coming in here and wanting to drink and then drive off, well, they know the consequences," said Monterey resident Hutch Schultz.

The city said public drinking still won't be allowed in a lot of areas like parks, unenclosed sidewalks or alleys.

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