Alcohol sales could come to Louisville Zoo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Alcohol sales could come to Louisville Zoo

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If the Louisville Zoo gets their way, you may soon be able to enjoy a cold brew while checking out the animals.

With a change of food vendor this month, the zoo applied for a liquor license that will allow them to serve beer daily, and liquor at special events.

Mother of three Beth Parks has a season pass to the zoo, and brings her two-year-old there once every couple of weeks. "We're big fans of the zoo," said Parks. "It's great exercise for me, and he loves it--he's totally entertained."

Parks isn't a fan of plans to introduce beer at the concession stands. "I think the zoo should be kept a family experience and focused on the kids," she said.

The zoo says alcohol sales will attract a new crowd, and increase revenue.

"Right now the details of the when and the where and all of that are being ironed out," said spokesperson with the Louisville Zoo Kyle Shephard. "We're exploring our options and this is an opportunity that we hope brings in an additional revenue stream for us."

The zoo says it has been considering the addition of alcohol sales for some time. Shephard says they have consulted with zoos like Cincinnati and Columbus that participate in alcohol sales. "We've done research and talked to a lot of industry professionals and a lot of other zoos who have had success with this."

Shephard says the revenue from beer sales could reach $120,000 a year. But many visitors say the zoo should look elsewhere for funding.

"That doesn't need to be the avenue for everything: alcohol and gambling," said Susan Close. Close brings her four grandchildren to the zoo frequently. "I think there are enough places for adults to drink and I don't think it needs to be here."

While others say, if the zoo can guarantee that visitors drink responsibly, they don't see a problem with it.

"You get people coming in here who don't know how to act, all it takes is animals and kids, it's a bad mix," said Amos Judd. Judd didn't mind the idea of alcohol sales and admitted he may enjoy a beer at the zoo if they offered it. "Every now and then, it's a good thing."

The zoo says a starting date for alcohol sales is dependent on liquor license approval.

Mayor Greg Fischer's spokesperson said the Mayor supports the plans.

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