No sidewalk BYOB

Bellevue Council has rejected a proposed amendment to the borough’s sidewalk table ordinance that would have allowed restaurant patrons to drink alcoholic beverages at sidewalk tables.

Although Bellevue businesses cannot sell alcohol by the glass, customers are permitted to bring their own alcoholic beverages to consume with their meals. The borough’s ordinance, however, limits the consumption to customers at tables inside the restaurant.

The change in the law had been requested by one Bellevue restaurant owner, and was supported by council members Kathy Coder and Mark Helbling. Coder pointed out that, under state law, someone can drink an alcoholic beverage while standing on Lincoln Avenue, while the borough ordinance prohibits that person from sitting at an outdoor restaurant table. Coder called the prohibition “absurd.”

Helbling proposed an amendment that would allow the outdoor alcohol consumption to occur during a 45-day trial period. Council member Jim Scisciani said that Helbling’s amendment should have been brought to the committee for consideration rather than introduced at the last minute before the ordinance was scheduled for a vote.

Both the amendment and the ordinance were defeated in 5-3 votes, with Coder, Helbling and Frank Camello in favor.

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