Royal Oak social district opening brightens business hopes – Daily Tribune

With rain hitting the region Friday, the new Royal Oak social district’s opening day was a damp beginning, but bar and restaurant owners have sunny hopes the district will draw patrons and help business.

“I think the social district will not only attract customers familiar with downtown Royal Oak, but will also draw a new group of customers to our downtown,” said Rich Lockwood, owner of the Motor City Gas whiskey distillery on Fourth Street.

More than 40 downtowns statewide have social districts where patrons can get alcoholic drinks in official to-go cups and stroll throughout the district.

Carrie O’Neill of the Rock on Third pub picked up 1,000 of the to-go cups from the city on Thursday.

“I think social districts will be a positive for all the cities that have them,” said O’Neill, president of the Royal Oak Restaurant Association. “It’s a great opportunity for someone to get a drink while they wait for a table at a restaurant or…

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