|Patrons in the Bellevue Entertainment District can now take their beverage with them as they stroll "The Avenue" on any day of the week.|
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by Robin Gee, city council beat editor
In August, the Bellevue City Council passed a significant expansion of operation hours for its popular entertainment district, known as the B.E.D. The district will now operate seven days a week, and hours are expanded to run from 9 a.m. to midnight.
In November 2019, the city created the "Bellevue Entertainment District," or B.E.D., a designation from the state that would allow the creation of an entertainment area designed to allow patrons to purchase an adult beverage and carry it with them from establishment to establishment as long as it is in a specially marked cup.
The idea behind the district was to encourage the flow of foot traffic within the area and create a fun and festive atmosphere. Initially the district, which covers most of the city’s Fairfield Avenue business district from the intersection of Riviera Drive to O’Fallon Avenue, was open from noon to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
A lot has changed since the launch of the B.E.D. When the pandemic hit, socializing outside was considered much safer. To stay afloat restaurants and bars took advantage of new rules that allowed for more outdoor seating. Over the year, people grew even more accustomed to being outside, and it became even more popular.
In recent months, as some COVID rules have been removed, the city has worked on changes to ordinances to allow for outdoor seating to continue and to address noise and other concerns. Now, with new hours, businesses and customers are poised to enjoy the district even more.