Checking in on Bowling Green’s entertainment district

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Fountain District Recreation Area in Bowling Green opened this summer. It allows people to go around certain places with their favorite alcoholic beverages. We have been looking at how the district is doing for about three months in operation.

What You Need to Know

  • The Fountain Row District allows people to walk around certain places with their favorite alcoholic beverages in designated cups.
  • 17 businesses have joined the Fountain Row District in Bowling Green
  • Bowling Green joins more than a dozen municipalities in Kentucky that have recreation districts

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Around two in the afternoon, after the lunch crowd has left, Payton Sloan prepares to rush dinner. Sloan has managed the bar at Gerard’s Tavern in downtown Bowling Green since May, two months before the bar was one of 17 businesses to join Fountain Row.

“It’s kind of encouraging people to come downtown and be downtown more, and see all that it has to offer down here,” Sloan explained.

Many signs line the streets of downtown Bowling Green, explaining the rules of Fountain Row. (Spectrum News 1/Jordan Grantz)

Aiming to draw more people to the city, the entertainment district allows customers to enjoy alcoholic drinks from a specific cup outside the restaurants. Alcohol laws apply between 11am and 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

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“It’s helped a lot of our customers order more rounds of drinks and take them with them and we’ve seen more foot traffic with people coming in for drinks,” Sloan added.

He said Fountain Row also seems to strengthen the sense of community in the area.

In addition to the entertainment district, Bowling Green joins more than a dozen municipalities in Kentucky. Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill in 2016, allowing towns to implement designated districts, all aimed at growing the local economy.

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“Having that additional facility downtown is one of the ways we’ve been hoping to drive workforce development and economic development,” said Telia Butler, Bowling Green’s city development coordinator.

Salon, who grew up in Bowling Green, hopes the initiative will bring people closer together.

“A lot of people, they like to go out to Scottsville Road or whatever, or places like that, so it’s definitely going to get more people in the area and support local businesses more,” Sloan said.


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