Soon, You May Be Able to Drink on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

City Council will vote on Wednesday whether to legalize a pilot program for allowing alcohol, under certain restrictions, on the boardwalk.

Atlantic City beach bar sign

A beach bar in Atlantic City. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

Soon, you might be able to stroll down the boardwalk in Atlantic City with a beer in your hand.

If you’re a regular visitor to Atlantic City, there’s a chance you’ve already done this — maybe during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, or maybe just with a drink you snuck out of a boardwalk-adjacent bar. But you’ve actually been breaking the city’s open-container law.

The city may soon vote to allow the drinking of alcoholic beverages on the boardwalk, under certain conditions, between Albany Avenue (south of the old Atlantic Club/Hilton casino) and Metropolitan (just north of the old Revel casino). That’s the entire casino stretch of the boardwalk.

Atlantic City Council will vote on the measure Wednesday at 5 p.m. For various reasons — to make money, the general inability of governments to write simple alcohol laws, that it’s Atlantic City — the new open-container laws are a little complicated (read the full proposed ordinance below).

In order to drink on the boardwalk, you’d have to purchase a branded cup from an establishment that identifies where you bought it. You can take that one cup with you on the boardwalk between Albany and Metropolitan. You couldn’t take it off the boardwalk, except to another bar (including beach bars). Open containers would still be banned on the street and on the beach (again, besides beach bars).

So, not really that hard. Just buy a beer at a boardwalk bar and you can bring it with you when you walk to the next one. If it passes Wednesday, the measure will be a pilot program for this summer.

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