Rooftop bars in Springfield could help alleviate crowded streets
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
Problems outside local bars are becoming more apparent, but one new trend could be an answer: rooftops bars.
"It makes the sidewalks less crowded allow for outdoor smoking to take place at those bars,” said Springfield Fire Marshal Chris Richmond.
He said rooftop bars could keep help keep people off the streets around bar areas, and help prevent loitering due to people leaving bars to smoke and be outside.
“Our concerns,” he said. “Are that they're built in a safe manner. Once they are, this will help solve that street-level problem that we've seen this past year."
The Buzz Bomb Brewery is one of the places here in downtown trying to get a rooftop bar.
"Because,” said the owner and head brewer Bill Larson. “Who doesn't want to enjoy a beer out on a rooftop and you know, enjoy the skyline."
The skyline and the atmosphere could keep people from crowding the streets.
"When one opens,” Larson said. “It's probably going to draw the rest of us that have the ability to have that towards that goal, for sure."
Larson said they've had good feedback about constructing a rooftop.
"I’d say we had probably a good two years of planning, probably two years before that of daydreaming,” he said. “The response has been great for us."
On top of safety, Downtown Springfield Inc said they can help revitalize downtown.
"Adding that to the downtown,” said DSI Executive Director Lisa Clemmons Stott, “Economy would definitely be a draw for customers and we think that it will help people enjoy the atmosphere that is downtown."
The Fire Marshal said he just hopes to keep residents safe.
"It's a fun safe space,” Richmond said. “Designed built in space and it frees up the sidewalks for the normal activities you want to see on a sidewalk."
The Buzz Bomb Brewery said they hope to get a rooftop in place in the next two years. They just opened their doors downtown three weeks ago.
The Fire Department said it can be a lengthy process to create a rooftop bar, including fulfilling safety requirements and other procedures before construction could begin.