BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The Fountain Row Entertainment District in Bowling Green opened this summer. It allows people to walk around certain areas with their favorite alcoholic beverages. We checked in on how the district was doing roughly three months into operation.
Around two in the afternoon, after the lunch crowd has left, Payton Sloan prepares for the dinner rush. Sloan has managed the bar at Gerard’s Tavern in downtown Bowling Green since May, two months before the bar was one of 17 businesses to join Fountain Row.
“It kind of promotes people to come downtown and be downtown more, and to see all that it offers down here,” Sloan explained.
Aiming to draw more people downtown, the entertainment district allows customers to enjoy alcoholic drinks in a specific cup outside of the restaurants. The rules regarding alcohol are in effect between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“It’s helped a lot of our customers order more rounds of drinks and leave with them and we’ve seen a lot more foot traffic with people coming in and getting drinks to go,” Sloan added.
She said Fountain Row also seems to bolster a sense of community in the area.
With the addition of the entertainment district, Bowling Green is joining more than a dozen Kentucky municipalities. Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill in 2016, allowing towns to implement the specified districts, all aimed at growing local economies.
“Having that extra amenity in downtown is one of the ways we were hoping to drive that workforce development and economic development,” said Telia Butler, the Bowling Green’s downtown development coordinator.
Salon, who grew up in Bowling Green, expects the initiative will bring people closer together.
“A lot of people, they tend to go out toward Scottsville Road or whatnot, or places like that, so it will definitely get more people in the area and local businesses supported more,” Sloan said.