How Will the New ‘Sip and Stroll’ Law Affect You?
This may be a new way to get your significant other to agree to go shopping with you: a new ‘Sip and Stroll’ law is going into effect on January 12th. Patrons of restaurants and bars in Arizona will be able to order an adult beverage, and then amble around outside of said bar or restaurant and consume said beverage.
If your partner just did a little happy dance, tell him to sit back on the couch. This isn’t a BYOB free-for-all. There are RULES.
HOW IT BEGAN
A bill was first passed by the Arizona legislature and signed by Governor Ducey back in 2019. The bill created a pilot program for drinking and shopping, beginning in a shopping center in Phoenix. The original plan only allowed weekends sipping and strolling, but all of that is about to change.
With the full law going into effect January 12th, the policy will expand to five days a week, during the afternoon and evening.
CAN WE ‘SIP AND STROLL’ IN COCHISE COUNTY?
The law is very new and of course, any venue wishing to implement a Sip and Stroll experience will have to meet certain criteria. First, shopping centers with at least 400,000 sq. ft. of gross leasing area will have to acquire a license that allows customers to leave bars and restaurants with an adult beverage in hand.
A quick check of Wikipedia shows the Mall at Sierra Vista is exactly 400,000 sq. ft., so this might be an option for businesses who are looking to revitalize commerce in the mall and possibly craft new businesses in that location.
DO SIPPING PATRONS HAVE TO STAY NEAR THE BAR?
Patrons can take their beverages around the entire shopping area covered by the permit and they won’t have to stay close to the place they purchased the drink.
How about refreshing your beverage at a satellite location? The law covers “kiosk” operators who can create satellite centers to serve drinks on other areas of the property, in much the same way a fairground or concert venue might be set up. Vendors and property owners are encouraged to put up extra signs, physical barriers, security, and electronic surveillance in order to keep patrons and visitors safe throughout the area.
SIERRA VISTA'S WEST END – COULD THIS WORK??
This may be a great way to supercharge the revitalization of the West End in Sierra Vista and encourage more upscale restaurants, bars, and other venues to invest there. The annual West End celebrations have been successful, but this might take turnout to the next level.
Don’t rush out just yet; tell your honey to sit down because we’re not quite ready to pull the switch on this, but it could be coming to a venue near us soon.
HOW TO APPLY
Any business hoping to participate in the Sip and Stroll program will need to submit plans to the city or county and then undergo a 60-day review process.