Sidewalk cafes can now serve alcohol in Norfolk, regardless of whether they’re attached to a restaurant.

The Norfolk City Council passed an ordinance on Monday that removed the requirement that a sidewalk cafe had to be attached to a restaurant to serve alcohol.

Before, a business had to have at least 35% of its revenue come from food sales to serve alcohol on a sidewalk cafe, said Andy Colvin, city administrator.

“We’ve gotten interest to have a business downtown that does not meet that requirement to serve alcohol. We had to either not allow that or change this code,” he said. “This seemed to be the most reasonable option.”

Mayor Josh Moenning said he thought the change was a good decision.

“I think it was done in the spirit of being reasonable about permissiveness with prudence,” he said. “I think this is a good outcome and allows for continued momentum and growth and development for these kind of people-gathering spaces in our downtown area.”

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