Denverites soon will be able to drink alcohol outdoors in certain spaces as applications opened Tuesday for common consumption areas within the city.
The five-year pilot allows businesses to establish areas where customers can mingle outdoors and walk between businesses with alcoholic beverages. Previously, city rules required patrons to finish drinks before leaving a venue.
Denver’s common consumption areas won’t be like New Orleans or Las Vegas, as the designated areas will be strictly enforced and limited to no larger than 100 acres (more than twice the square footage of Denver International Airport).
Areas will need to be approved by the city council and licensed by Excise and Licenses. Potential candidates are the Dairy Block, McGregor Square, Larimer Square, Santa Fe Art District and the Great Hall at DIA.
Other Colorado cities have taken advantage of common consumption areas since the state Legislature legalized them in 2011, including Ivywild School in Colorado Springs and Ninth Street Plaza in Greeley.
City officials said it will take the typical Denver applicant three to four months to get through the licensure process once they apply.
The process includes the initial application submission, an agency review, a public hearing, a city council review and inspections by multiple agencies.