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Pack up your coolers, loophole on public drinking is about to close

In June, we told readers about a little-known loophole in city code: You can drink under the sunshine in a few choice plots of city-owned land. (Those unmarked oases are the Old Town Farm and Art Market, Old Town Cinema Plaza and the lawn of the Hyatt Regency Hotel.)

But that’s about to end. The City Council Tuesday will vote on revisions to the city’s 58-page drinking establishment and community event law that will require those three locations to follow the same rules as elsewhere. In short, you need a special community event license to booze it up in public places.

The same council move would allow pool halls and places with pool tournaments to stay open past 2 a.m., when bars are otherwise required to close down. But even though the pool matches can go on into the early morning, no alcohol can be served after 2 a.m.