Paducah – The Paducah City Council on Tuesday introduced plans for the expansion of the city’s downtown entertainment destination center. EDC was established in June 2021. It allows adults to walk in designated areas of the city center with open-serve alcoholic beverages, as long as the beverages are purchased from licensed vendors with special signs.
Changes to the ordinance proposed Tuesday would give businesses in the region without a liquor license the right to welcome customers who carry EDC cups containing alcoholic beverages. Businesses that choose to allow the use of mugs on their premises must first obtain a permit from the city.
Many businesses are already excited about the customer growth the change could bring. Jennifer Smith, from Kentucky, who has worked at With Love downtown for the past few years, said, “We keep having people come from all over the country and from all over the world, and Paducah is becoming a destination city, so it’s great. Exciting, but I like the vibrancy of downtown.”
She believes the proposal will help increase business, saying “it gets people in instead of moving on to the next business before they’ve finished their drinks.”
Paducah Planning Director Nic Hutchison explains how it works. “We’ll have a registration form that puts them on the list of city clerks, and there will be decals on the front of the store letting people know they can bring their EDC into the premises,” he said.
Hutchison also said there had been no increase in public drunken tickets since the EDC was created.
Workers like Smith are excited about the possibilities this new change could bring.
“I think anything that draws people to downtown and encourages them to get involved in Paducah, to come to businesses, to support the local area instead of going to the mall is great,” she said.