With The Syndicate, a new social district allows for drinks-to-go in downtown Farmington

With rumors swirling that Michigan’s shutdown of indoor dining at bars and restaurants will be extended until at least Monday, Feb. 1, the bars and restaurants of downtown Farmington should find at least a little solace in their community’s adoption of the social district.

Dubbed The Syndicate, Farmington’s social district allows for downtown businesses to sell alcoholic drinks to go, which can then be enjoyed within a designated district of city streets and public spaces. The benefits of social districts are two-fold, increasing business downtown while still allowing people to maintain social distancing standards.

Social districts were made possible by the State of Michigan in an effort to boost downtown businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Syndicate first opened on New Year’s Eve.

“We’ve already seen initial success with The Syndicate and we’re getting it started in the cold weather,” says Kate Knight, executive director of Farmington’s Downtown Development Authority.

“We’re really encouraged about what this means going into the summer.”

The designated areas of The Syndicate run along the spine of Farmington’s downtown, Grand River Avenue, roughly stretching from the Sidecar Slider Bar to LOFT Cigar Lounge. The main common areas include Riley Park and Gazebo Park. Participating businesses include Basement Burger Bar/1UP Arcade Bar, Farmington Brewing Company, Los Tres Amigos, Masa, Mi.Mosa, and the Sidecar Slider Bar.
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