Dinner and dancing are two things many expect to find on a river cruise but what about alcohol? It's nowhere to be found on the Pickwick Belle, for now.
Monday night, the Decatur city council voted to amend the city code and allow alcohol to be served on the Belle's cruises.
"This is the first time we have done something like this, but this is what allows them to get out on the river and serve alcohol," explained Councilman Gary Hammon.
The council has been working for quite some time to get the alcohol restrictions changed. The Belle has been docked at Ingalls Harbor for about a month. The riverboat floated up the river from Florence in June. Hammon says changing alcohol restrictions is no easy task.
"ABC is very strict so we are just crossing our T's and dotting our I's to allow the Pickwick Belle to serve alcohol on their dinner cruises," said Hammon.
People in Decatur are open to the change, with a few minor restrictions. Dr. Samuel King, a minister, says there are a few people who should definitely not be drinking on the water.
"As long as it's not the captain or the skipper who's doing the maneuvering of the vehicle, passengers I think would be acceptable."
The council's approval is not the last hurdle that needs to be cleared before alcohol can be sold on the Pickwick Belle. The alcohol license must also be approved by the ABC board."
Hammon says he hopes this change will help boost Decatur tourism and maybe increase the city's revenue.
"To have this as a regular item on the city of Decatur is just something else that makes us unique compared to other cities.
The Belle offers sightseeing tours every Thursday from 1-2:30 PM and every Saturday from 2-3:30 PM. Dinner cruises are held every Friday from 7-9 PM.