Story Behind the Story: Sweet and free, and illegal?

A reporter's blog about the story behind the story:

Today, while covering the businesses that want to have a sampling table outside their store, which you can watch, we discovered a tourist favorite may also be illegal.

To read my story and watch the video: See Liberty St. business disputes sidewalk sample law.

If you walk down River Street, you will see restaurants and stores giving out free appetizer samples or candy treats.

I love it. You love it. It's apparently illegal.

According to city officials, restaurants and cafes can have tables and chairs outside for seating, but the samples are not legal according to the sidewalk cafe program.

However, Kathy Williams from Lowcountry Gourmet Foods got busted for the sampling table because she also had a free standing sign outside she was cited for.

On River Street, the samples go out and the trays empty quickly, so enforcing the law is a little more difficult.

Another reason for the law is advertising. It's one reason why alcohol must be served in a glass instead of a bottle, because it is considered advertising on public property.

Some have wondered how local papers and circulations are allowed in boxes on the sidewalk.

That is a First Ammendment issue. By law, they are allowed as a constitutional right.

Interesting stuff.

Until next time...

:: Don Logana - bio | email

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