Zoning Change Quenches Thirst For Alcohol In Detroit Restaurants

A zoning change that advocates describe as a win for restaurant owners outside of downtown's 1.6 square miles — particularly with the proliferation of new dining spots there and in the greater downtown's 7.2 square miles — took effect last month after nearly three years of work.

The zoning change makes the process for opening a restaurant in Detriot a lot quicker and easier than it used to be. Prospective restaurateurs no longer have to go through a lengthy hearing process with the Building, Safety Engineering & Environmental Department and the Board of Zoning Appeals if they want to locate within 1,000 feet of two other alcohol-serving restaurants. Restaurants throughout the city's 143 square miles that serve alcohol are now considered a "by right" use.