Raleigh backs off crackdown on bar patios

RALEIGH, N.C. — City officials agreed Tuesday to work with bar owners and others on new regulations for outdoor dining in Raleigh.

A proposed ordinance change would have limited city outdoor dining permits to establishments that garner no more than 70 percent of their annual revenue from alcohol sales.

Downtown bar owners who have added patios or sidewalk seating in recent years protested the move, with Zack Medford, the owner of Paddy O'Beers on Fayetteville Street, gathering more than 8,000 signatures on an online petition to block the change.

"It upsets me a lot that the city created this ordinance without talking to any of us. Nobody from the hospitality industry was consulted at first," Medford said. "If we hadn't raised our voices so loudly, I think this ordinance would have been passed through without anyone noticing."

Opponents wearing T-shirts reading "#SavethePatios" rallied Tuesday and then marched to City Hall to fight the proposal.

Zack Medford