Chamblee’s quest to become north ITP’s hippest little city continues.

Like suburban locales from The Battery and Dunwoody’s Ashford Lane to Roswell, Duluth, and beyond, Chamblee is enacting a new open-container ordinance that will become officially official in two weeks. 

Back in March, Chamblee city leadership voted to allow for outdoor consumption of booze in what’s considered the Downtown Entertainment District, which stretches from Ingersoll Rand Drive to McGaw Drive.

The new ordinance goes into effect Saturday, July 1 with the hope of promoting “increased social activities and pedestrian traffic” in Chamblee’s downtown, while expanding options for entertainment that involve alcoholic beverages, according to a city announcement. Chamblee has succeeded in leveraging its MARTA access and vintage downtown charms to bring an influx of private and public investment to fruition in recent years.

The ordinance marks a rare instance of an open-container policy in ITP Atlanta, not counting private districts such as Ponce City Market or (unofficially) the entirety of the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.

Recent (in yellow) and ongoing development sites (green) clustered around downtown Chamblee, as shown early last year. Courtesy of Chamblee Downtown Development Authority

“This is a great opportunity to increase exposure of our downtown businesses and activities,” Chamblee Mayor Brian Mock said in a prepared statement. “It’s our hope that both patrons and businesses within the Downtown Entertainment District drink responsibly and follow our guidelines.”

So what are the new rules?

The open-container policy allows anyone over age 21 to possess one drink in a clear plastic cup purchased from a licensed establishment between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day. Those cups should be clearly marked with the establishment’s logo and a sticker from the city signifying it’s legit.

As for cup sizes, mixed drinks can’t exceed 12 ounces. The max for malt beverages and wine is 16 ounces, because nothing spells party like a full pint of wine.

All businesses participating in the plastic-cup hopscotch are required to have an 11-by-17-inch sign posted at their doors that reads exactly this:  

            “Patrons leaving this establishment with an alcoholic beverage are required by law to dispose of the beverage before 10 p.m. and before leaving the Downtown Entertainment District. Any person who possesses an open alcoholic beverage outside the district, or after 10 p.m. within the district, or in an unauthorized container, is in violation of the City Code and may be subject to a citation and/or fine.”

Sounds feasible. But will Chamblee’s new lax stance on open containers convince you to visit the city—or to return?

And it all begs the question: Where else in or near the City of Atlanta should adopt this outdoor-consumption approach?


Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook 

• Chamblee news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)