Downtown PDX merchants oppose alcohol ban

Many merchants oppose a possible city proposal that would ban the sale of malt liquor and wine in downtown Portland.

Share this article!

A proposed ban on the sale of malt liquor with an alcohol content over 5.75% and wine over 14% is set to be submitted to the Portland City Council in mid-September.

Merchants expressed their disapproval of the proposed ban at a public meeting hosted by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.

Wendell Pilger, who owns the Commodore Grocery at Southwest 16th Avenue and Morrison Street, said his customers live in apartments nearby. They are veterans, seniors and other people on restricted incomes who like to purchase one “forty” a day — low-quality, low-cost, high-alcohol beer that comes in 40 ounce cans or bottles — and nurse that in their homes all day. “They like the forties because that’s the most economical way for them to get a ‘buzz on’ is the term,” he said.

Police and the neighborhood office say restricting access to these drinks would cut down on public intoxication in this area, which generates about 60 percent of the city’s drinking in public citations. Representatives from the University of Oregon, which has a campus in Old Town, and the Julia West House, which provides shelter for low-income people, support the idea.


{biztweet}portland alcohol ban{/biztweet}