A law in Arizona will allow customers to drink while they shop

Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace have obtained licenses that allow customers to drink alcoholic beverages while shopping.

PHOENIX — It’s all about shopping but with an interesting twist.

A new Arizona law it will make it possible for customers to grab a cocktail, beer or glass of wine while shopping at malls and retail stores.

“You’ll have your favorite cocktail, beer or wine, and you can wander through designated outdoor areas,” said Katie Hauptman, director of marketing for Desert Ridge Marketplace.

Starting January 12, certain retail centers and shopping malls that are at least 400,000 square feet can apply for a license to allow customers to leave bars and restaurants on their property with drinks to go.

There are restrictions, of course.

Desert Ridge Marketplace and Vestar-owned Tempe Marketplace will be the first two malls to allow what they call “Sip and Stroll.”

“While you’re watching a great game on the District Stage, you can grab a beer and enjoy it with family and friends,” Hauptman said.

Desert Ridge buyers appear to be on board with the new program.

“Just to have a drink while we’re shopping, I think it would be really nice to be able to do it while you’re enjoying yourself and looking at things and seeing all the different places here,” said Nicole Yadlowsky, who was visiting Desert Ridge with her family before returning to Canada. .

“As long as people are responsible, and I think most people who shop are, I think it’s a great idea,” said Mickey Armstrong, another Marketplace shopper.

In fact the law is not new.

Copper Blues Live, a bar in Desert Ridge, was the test site for the program when then-Governor Doug Ducey and the Legislature greenlit a pilot period for the program.

The pilot program only allowed alcohol to leave Copper Blues on weekend nights.

The new law gives Vestar the option to make it a permanent rule.

“Many of the same guidelines will apply and we had no issues with the pilot, so we are very excited to launch this new version,” Hauptman said.

So far, only Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace have acquired the necessary licenses to offer their “Sip and Stroll,” but it’s not hard to imagine other large retail spaces joining in.

“This eventual program is so unique and innovative,” Hauptman said.

“Our goal at Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace is to create unique experiences for our guests, so we truly believe this program enhances everything we do,” he concluded.

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