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Starting March 19, open containers will be allowed in the Village of Lancaster

Business owners said they are looking forward to the change.

LANCASTER, N.Y. — As of Sunday, March 19, the Village of Lancaster is lifting its ban on open containers.

That means you'll be able to walk around outside with an adult beverage. The Village of Lancaster will join East Aurora, Angola, and the rest of the Town of Evans in allowing open containers in public spaces.

"Those of us that have been here through COVID, through all of the construction, we're really excited to see this change, this rebirth in Lancaster," said Patricia Marshall, co-owner of Lilly Belle Meads.

Patricia Marshall has co-owned Lilly Belle Meads on West Main Street in the Village of Lancaster for more than five years. Starting Sunday, March 19, for the first time, her customers will be able to walk around the village with open containers of alcohol.

You will also be able to take drinks to-go.

"It really does break down the barriers. It really does get people out onto the sidewalk, and walking around, and exploring what else the village has to offer," Marshall said.

That also includes Symposium Wine Bar. Katie McKenna-Heveron opened it last July.

"I see this as a benefit. I see it as an add-on for individuals who come to the Village to shop, to live here, and really for the merchants it's an opportunity to get more people down here, more people walking. I know it's a vision of the Village to make this an even more walkable community, so I think this brings us one step closer to that vision," McKenna-Heveron said. 

A few doors down from Lilly Belle Meads, Symposium is in a new building that has other shops and apartments.

"It really opens our footprint a little bit. Allows individuals, again, whether they're enjoying just on a walk along the Village or there's a park being built across the street, so they're bringing their glass of wine to watch some live music, or they're walking down the street to go to another destination," McKenna-Heveron said.

And as more businesses move to the Village of Lancaster, both McKenna-Heveron and Marshall are looking forward to the future.

"Five years ago when you moved in here, what was it like over here?" 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik asked.

Marshall said, "We were like a glorified parking lot. It really was a glorified parking lot, but the Village has committed to changing the landscape. We have development in here. It's really an exciting time."

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