According to City officials, downtown Owensboro’s new entertainment district, where alcohol can be openly carried by way of green plastic cups, has been a success thus far. Around two months into The District’s partnership with Friday After 5, both Owensboro Police Department and Director of Public Events Tim Ross say things are running smoothly.
Officials said the 11 restaurants and bars that have agreed to run their select businesses from the hours of 5 to midnight each Friday have seen the benefit of The District.
“Sales-wise, some businesses have seen a small increase in sales,” Ross said. “Other businesses have seen upwards of 15 to 20 percent increase in gross sales over the first five to six weeks of last year compared to this year.”
According to Ross, none of those business have expressed any issues with The District so far.
“They were all very complimentary,” he said. “The only thing we’ve heard from them is to expand this and offer it more often than just Fridays.”
Even more, the community has responded well to The District too, Ross said. The flexibility patrons have been given during Friday After 5 has served as a major talking point among guests as much as it has boosted business for the businesses participating.
“The feedback that we’re getting from folks being able to get a drink, specifically at the patio at RiverPark, and be able to walk down the street and go to Real Hacienda’s food truck, or go to Try-R-Tips food truck for dinner, and not have to be contained in one spot has been positive,” Ross said.
Ross said other communities have been reaching out to him, asking questions about The District’s success and the path City officials took to make it happen, all in hopes they can duplicate what Owensboro has done.