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Council questions ordinance change
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The Covington City Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance change to allow The Cork Boutique to host alcohol tastings outside during its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 21.

Councilmembers Hawnethia Williams and Chris Smith questioned whether or not the city was allowing for too much outside consumption on the downtown Square Tuesday night during a special called meeting to discuss another issue.

The current ordinance allows for “ancillary wine tastings” inside permitted businesses but the ordinance the council is set to review Monday would allow for the tastings anywhere on the business’ property, including the outside sidewalk.

The council previously voted to allow the city attorneys to draft the change in the ordinance during its Nov. 7 meeting after a request from Jack Philips, owner of the Irish Bred Pub and The Cork Boutique. The council unanimously approved Philips’ request of outside consumption at the Irish Bred Pub restaurant, but the outside consumption at The Cork Boutique, which would require an ordinance change, was only initiated after Mayor Ronnie Johnston broke the tie between councilmembers.

Currently, The Cork Boutique is the only business offering wine tastings in the city. The ordinance for wine tastings allows for two-ounce tastings, not to exceed eight ounces within a two-hour period.

Councilmember Ocie Franklin said the council would be “opening a can of worms” if it changed the ordinance to allow outside tastings.

The council will meet Monday, Nov. 21 for its regularly scheduled meeting, which will include the first reading of the ordinance. Changes to an ordinance require a first and second reading by the council before they’re put into effect.