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Muskegon to open outdoor social districts to aid local restaurants and bars

Similar to social zones in Grand Rapids, alcohol can be carried and consumed outdoors in the designated spaces.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Unruly Brewing Company owner Jeff Jacobson has had a rough time financially during the pandemic, particularly because one of his brewery's biggest draws is live music.

"A music venue really gets hit in a situation where we cant have indoor music," says Jacobson.

The city of Muskegon plans to help businesses like Unruly by creating outdoor social districts. Jacobson is fully on board with the idea.

"People still don't necessarily feel comfortable coming inside," Jacobson explains. "I think if we can offer an outdoor space and you can travel down the road, I mean that's amazing."

Similar to social zones in Grand Rapids, alcohol can be carried and consumed outdoors in the designated spaces. Jacobson says the city leaders considered waiting until the spring to initiate the zones, but he told them he was ready to start now even though the winter months are coming.

"We love to be outside," he says. "If you dress for the weather and there's fire features, it's comfortable to be outside if you're ready for it."

He says the zones are a long time coming and is thankful the city of Muskegon fought for local establishments like his.

"They wanted to support businesses downtown, and if we can get people outside that's the biggest thing," Jacobson says.

Unruly Brewing will host one of three social zones starting on Friday, with the other two at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company and Walkers The Foundation.

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