Did I miss something? Did we go back in time to Prohibition? Do we automatically assume that anyone drinking alcohol is a depraved person who will corrupt our youth? Sounds pretty antiquated and cynical to me.
Lincolnton is a lovely town with some very friendly, intelligent, law-abiding citizens. I live outside the city limits, but I do a lot of volunteer work and shopping in Lincolnton. I am also a retired Police Captain and have seen my share of depravity. There is no difference between someone sitting inside a restaurant with a beer or glass of wine, and someone sitting outside that establishment at a table with that same glass of wine. People are not more likely to have more to drink just because they are sitting outside. Has anyone checked with the Police Department to see if there have been any problems caused by the few people who sit at the outside tables at Court Street Grill since that ordinance was changed? Every time I have been there, there were families and couples enjoying themselves and being respectful of others. At no time have I seen anyone being obnoxious or intrusive.
For the half of the year that the weather would permit sitting outside, why not be able to sit at an outside table and enjoy the view of downtown? I’m sure the ordinance would prohibit customers from buying a drink and walking down Main Street with it. All the same hours of sale would exist and the businesses would still have to be permitted by the state, county and city to sell alcohol. Joining the 21st century does not mean Miss Kitty and her dancehall girls are going to be bringing their saloon to Lincolnton!