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Council debates selling beer and wine on Naples Pier

Posted at 7:57 PM, Dec 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-20 20:02:15-05

Beer on the pier? Alcohol could soon be sold by a vendor on the historic Naples Pier. 

But while drinking is allowed on the beach, it isn't permitted on the pier - yet. Naples City Council members wrangled over changing that city ordinance at their meeting Wednesday.

"I just hate to see this happen," said Vice-Mayor Linda Penniman. "I think it's going to be a nightmare."

But Gianluca Corso, who owns the Cosmo's concession stand on the pier, said that people already bring their alcoholic drinks from the beach onto the pier. He argues that he might as well sell beer and wine there. But he doesn't see people getting drunk and disorderly.

"With us taking responsibility, we will control people drinking at the pier, and probably at the beach too, because now we are obligated," Corso said.

Council member Doug Finlay sided with Penniman, wondering if selling beer and wine could lead to people drinking hard liquor at the pier.

"I think it's going to lead to a lot more problems at the pier, simply to satisfy the request for concessionaire," Finlay said. "I think it's just the wrong way to go."

Mayor Bill Barnett believes those fears are unfounded.

"I think we're blowing this way out of proportion," Barnett said. "I don't think we're going to see people falling and stumbling all over themselves on the pier."

Council voted 4 to 3 to allow the sales. Any beer or wine would not be sold in glass bottle, which is also not allowed on the beach.

A public hearing hearing on the issue will take place in mid-January.