Outdoor drinking soon to be offered at two Arizona marketplaces

Starting on Jan. 12, businesses at Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace will offer alcohol that can be consumed while shopping.
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 9:23 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Window-shopping while drinking. Arizona’s open container laws have historically prevented that from being a thing. But that will soon no longer be the case at two Valley outdoor shopping centers.

Five businesses at Tempe Marketplace and six at Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix will offer alcohol that can be consumed while taking a stroll outside. “If the wife ever says let’s go shopping, I’ll probably say well let’s go here,” Phoenix resident Edgar Barraza said. On a cloudy Valley day, Barraza is focused on brighter and better times. Starting Thursday, Jan. 12, alcohol will be allowed on Tempe Marketplace property.

Heather Edge, marketing director for Vestar (which owns both Tempe Marketplace and Desert Ridge Marketplace), says preparations are already underway to beef up security and signage that shows where shoppers can drink. “We have Harkins, Dave and Buster’s, Kabuki, Gen Korean, Genghis Grill, and it’s all within the district,” Edge said.

The upcoming January launch comes after a bill signed by Gov. Ducey in 2019 created a three-year pilot program for mall owners to work with business owners to offer alcohol that could be consumed in common areas on mall property. In addition, after a successful test run at Copper Blues Live at Desert Ridge Marketplace, the Arizona legislature passed a new law earlier this year that allows Arizona businesses with the required permits and licenses to offer alcohol outdoors permanently starting Jan. 12.

“I think it’s going to create more of an opportunity for more people to visit the Marketplace and for more businesses to thrive,” Dave and Buster’s General Manager Trent Averhoff said. However, Averhoff expects a few adjustments as this new law goes into effect.

For new Glendale mom Nadia Muller, she’s looking forward to being able to drink while shopping. But with more ways to drink, she also questions shoppers’ safety. “Are they able to really drive?” Muller asked. “Are they going to get more taxis? Can they get mor Ubers out this way in case something from drinking happens?” Muller hears the Vegas comparisons and hopes the Valley doesn’t take it to that extreme. “This is not Vegas,” she said. “We might only be four hours away, but it’s still not the same.”

For more information on the Tempe Marketplace services, you can visit this link on their website.