Talks of an entertainment district in downtown Harrison

State News

HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) – The Pour House has been on the downtown square for a few years, serving food, drinks and coffee.

“The square is the heart of the city,” said the owner Jean Cochran.

But she said there are definitely some changes that could be made to make the area better for business.

“We’ve had people ask, they come with their dog, they want to sit out and drink their wine with their dog sitting on the bench. Can’t happen right now,” Cochran said. 

But the Harrison City Advertising & Tourism Promotion Commission’s Explore Harrison is looking to make downtown a little more lively.

“A lot of our small businesses are hurting,” said Matt Bell, the executive director of Explore Harrison.

So the executive director is exploring turning the area into an entertainment district.

People would be able to walk in the district with a drink in a designated cup until about 10 p.m. But you can’t bring a drink in from outside the entertainment district. You have to buy it there.

“The main push behind this is to do more for our downtown and to encourage more people to visit our downtown,” Bell said.

A few people said their main concern is how the rules in the district would be enforced.

If a business does not want to participate, they won’t have a sign in their door, and people would not be allowed to drink in there.

“We don’t need anybody entering into the courthouse with an alcoholic beverage, so why would we promote that,” Bell said.

The Pour House owner said making downtown an entertainment district will not only be great for bringing in more businesses, but for bringing in more business to shops and restaurants already there.

“I think that’s what this square needs,” Cochran said.

There are still some steps Explore Harrison would have to make before presenting this idea to the city council, like making sure most businesses approve it.

It would be up to the council ultimately to vote if they’d want the district or not.

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