Capital City Sip-N-Stroll (PODA) | Businesses

To help our local business owners navigate the processes and information related to the Private Outdoor Designated Area (PODA) – the Capital City Sip-N-Stroll – we have put together this informational page.

What are the benefits of having a PODA in Charleston?

Having a PODA or PODA’s has the potential to:

  1. Increase visitors to restaurants and bars;
  2. Increase the time visitors spend in the area;
  3. Increase retail sales; and
  4. Adds to the unique visitor experience.

Do other communities have a PODA?

Huntington established the first PODA in West Virginia. While PODA is a relatively new concept in West Virginia, Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas or DORA’s have existed in Ohio for several years. DORA was established in Ohio in April 2015 [by Section 4301.82 of the O.R.C.] which allows patrons over the age of 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages from a permitted establishment and carry them within a clearly defined area within the city.

My business is located within a PODA, do I need specific licenses and/or permits to apply to be an approved PODA-licensed establishment?

Businesses selling alcohol must have a current private club liquor license pursuant to West Virginia Code §60-7-1 et seq., and be in good standing with the City of Charleston on all taxes, fees, licenses, and permits in order to participate in the PODA. Businesses located in the PODA that do not sell or distribute alcohol may decide whether to allow people to enter with PODA beverages—see next question for more information.

In addition, businesses granted a permit by the City and the ABCA to participate in a PODA must execute an agreement between all qualified permit holders within the PODA, stating that each qualified permit holder may be held jointly and severally liable for any improper acts or conduct committed in the operation of the PODA pursuant to West Virginia Code §60−7−8g(c)(8).

How will folks know if my business sells / welcomes / does not welcome PODA beverages?

PODA-licensed establishments and retail businesses who welcome / do not welcome PODA beverages will be provided signage indicating their preference.

PODA beverages [in an approved PODA cup] may be taken into businesses that display the official green “Capital City Sip-N-Stroll | Beverages Welcome” decal in their window.

PODA beverages may not be taken into businesses that display the official red “Capital City Sip-N-Stroll | Please, No Beverages” decal or have no decal.

PODA-licensed establishments will display the official black “Capital City Sip-N-Stroll | Beverages Sold Here” decal.

Who do I need approval from to participate in a PODA?

Businesses must obtain approval from the City of Charleston (via an application process), obtain a Class S4 permit through the WV ABCA, and submit a copy of the Class S4 permit to the City.

Who is eligible to apply for a Class S4 permit?

Businesses must have a private club license to apply for an S4 permit as per the ABCA.

WV Code Sec. 60-7-8g(c)(11), says that to be eligible for an S4 permit, the class A license must “[m]eet and be subject to all other private club license type requirements[.]” Furthermore, WV Code Sec. 60-7-8g(a) defines the PODA as a space “where multiple private club license type licensees who apply and obtain a qualified permit holder permit shall share liability and responsibility.”

Am I required to use the approved PODA cups or can I use my own cups and/or sell reusable cups?

Drinks must be served in approved PODA cups [that include the approved PODA logo, are no larger than 16 ounces in size, and are made of clear plastic or similar non-glass material]. Businesses may not obtain PODA cups until after receiving its ABCA Class S4 permit and City approval.

When am I permitted to sell PODA beverages?

Sale of PODA beverages is permitted only during authorized days and hours; except when alcohol is available as part of a festival located within the PODA. In addition, the City has the authority to suspend the operation of a PODA immediately when in the best interest of public safety by providing notice to all Class S4 permit holders and the WVABCA.

City Center, Elk City, and South Hills PODAs: Year-round schedule; Monday-Friday from 4P to 10P; Saturday-Sunday from 10A to 10P.

Capitol Market PODA: Year-round schedule; Seven days a week from 10A-7P.

I am a business allowing PODA beverages into my establishment. Am I allowed to refill PODA beverage cups?

No. Anyone who wants to obtain another PODA beverage must visit a PODA-licensed establishment to purchase.

Can the City revoke my approval to participate in the PODA?

Yes, the City may revoke the letter of approval of any Class S4 permit holder--when doing so is in the best interest of public safety or because the business is in violation of City ordinances--by sending a revocation letter to both the permit holder and the WV ABCA.

If a person purchases a PODA beverage at my business, am I required to make restroom facilities available?

Yes, approved PODA-licensed establishments are responsible for making available adequate restroom facilities to members / guests during all operating hours of the PODA.

Do I have to provide waste receptacles if there is a city waste receptacle near my business?

Yes, approved PODA-licensed establishments are responsible for making waste receptacles available during the operating hours of the PODA in a number sufficient to contain the waste generated in the area and which are emptied regularly / as needed.

Who do I contact to request a permit application / and or for more information?

Please email PODA@cityofcharleston.org. 

Resource Links

  1. Bill No. 8013 Committee Substitute, As Amended (via Municode Library)
  2. Senate Bill 534