Holly’s Battle Alley will be designated as the village’s social district

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:19 PM EST
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HOLLY, Mich. (WJRT) - Changes are underway in downtown Holly to create a social district that will allow people to freely eat and drink alcohol outdoors.

Businesses on Holly’s Battle Alley hope to make this coronavirus pandemic plan a long-term option.

With House Bill 5811 allowing qualified businesses to sell alcohol for consumption off premise until 2025, the village of Holly is creating a social district with eight businesses that plan to participate.

“Patrons can come to one of the eight restaurants or bars that serve alcohol, get their food, a sandwich or pizza, and then drink of choice and bring it to this common area at Battle Alley,” said Village Manager Jerry Walker.

The district will center around the Battle Alley between Saginaw and Broad streets. There people can be outside and enjoy food and alcohol purchased from businesses who obtain the special license and a special cup showing it is part of the program and not from an outside establishment.

“A cup with the restaurant’s logo, and also has a logo from the village of Holly. The social district organizer,” Walker said.

He said the social district concept is one more way to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting closures of indoor dining. But the idea has the potential to become a long-term fixture in Holly.

“We think it will be a slow go getting everybody back up to speed, so it’s really our goal to help them,” Walker said. “But it will really be a good thing for everyone downtown. As we get people downtown, hopefully they will go into the other shops.”

The Battle Alley has already been closed to traffic to accommodate outdoor dining. Walker said they will send the social district application to the state in February with hopes of opening it in March.

There are 23 designated social districts in Michigan. Holly would be the fourth to be established in Oakland County.

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