City of Charleston limiting hours for vendors on King Street

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Downtown Charleston mobile food and beverage vendors are now limited on how late they can stay open. Owners say that taking away the late-night crowd is hitting them where it hurts.

“We’re not going to be able to help those people and not be able to make that difference in the community because we won’t be open,” says Woody Norris, Owner of Booze Pops.

City officials say it’s necessary for the safety of King Street.

“This is a public safety issue for our citizens and for people who patronize on King Street,” says Peter Shahid, Chairman of Public Safety Committee for the City of Charleston.

The City of Charleston says this is the latest effort to help with crime and crowd control after bars and restaurants shut down. Booze Pop Owner, Woody Norris, says he’s been operating for five years and has never seen crime happen near his business.

“We have had zero violent incidents as well as the food carts. They have been open a little longer and haven’t had violent incidents. We are the ones that help break up the fights,” says Norris.

City of Charleston officials say this regulation is important to help calm down the rise in violence that sparked back in May.

“Hopefully this is the last thing we have to do on getting a better handle and control on the level of violence,” says Shahid.

Norris believes the solution is not stopping local businesses from operating at late hours, but finding ways of better control of crowds on King Street.

“We have to be outside to help and we always are. If you shut us down at 1:30 a.m., there is going to be dark parking lots… and that’s not the answer,” says Norris.

These new changes go in effect immediately for food and beverage vendors, but restaurants in the area are allowed to continue to sell food past 1:30 a.m.

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