'Just shy of 23,000 drinks,' Port Huron adding Sperry's to downtown social district

·3 min read
Two of the several specialty cocktails — a strawberrini and bloody bourbon — are served at Sperry's 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse in downtown Port Huron on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. The city asked the state to add Sperry's to the downtown social district.
Two of the several specialty cocktails — a strawberrini and bloody bourbon — are served at Sperry's 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse in downtown Port Huron on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. The city asked the state to add Sperry's to the downtown social district.

One more establishment is being added to the roster of bars and restaurants that can sell customers alcoholic beverages to-go in downtown Port Huron.

Under Sperry’s Theatre Operations LLC, Sperry’s Moviehouse is awaiting the final OK from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to be added to the Port Huron Social District after City Council agreed to recommend the application this week.

Once approved, the business will be able to serve adults specialty drinks from two venues with the same downtown social district logo that’s populated plastic cups around downtown for the last two years.

“We look forward to having the opportunity to being part of the social district and serving drinks from our 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse and Arcadehouse,” Cathy Mills, managing director for CityFlatsHotel and Sperry’s, said in an email.

But moviegoers or customers stopping in may have to wait a few weeks.

Natacha Hayden, director of the city’s Downtown Development Authority, said it could take a month or two until the state signs off on Sperry’s application.

Once approved, it’d mark the seventh participating business offering to-go cocktails and drinks downtown. Already included are Casey’s Pizza and Casey’s on the Plaza under McMorran Place, CityFlats, Lynch’s Irish Tavern, the Raven Café, Vintage Tavern, and Wings Etc.

Sperry's 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse in downtown Port Huron on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. The city asked the state to add Sperry's to the downtown social district.
Sperry's 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse in downtown Port Huron on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. The city asked the state to add Sperry's to the downtown social district.

Although social districts don’t allow adults to bring alcohol for consumption from home, they do allow customers at those businesses to carry the branded to-go beverages within set boundaries. In downtown Port Huron, the district runs primarily along Main Street from Glenwood and Huron avenues south down past the Foundry on Military Street.

According to a breakdown from the city on Wednesday, 22,982 beverages — or “just shy of 23,000 drinks,” as City Manager James Freed told council via email — have been served in the social district since it was established in August 2020.

In that time, the district’s 50-cent sticker sales have also generated a total of $11,491 in revenue, including $4,970 so far this year.

The biggest portion of social district revenue came out of Wings Etc. with 41% of sales, according to the city, followed by Lynch’s and Casey’s with 25% and 16%.

Those numbers, however, don't include social district drink revenues from the McMorran Plaza, which opened this year.

“This social district is having a remarkable economic impact on our downtown, while at the time helping to support more robust entertainment opportunities downtown,” Freed wrote officials Wednesday.

Hayden said Sperry’s is an exciting addition to the district, “especially now with arcade opening up.” The Arcadehouse opened earlier this summer in Sperry’s basement.

“So far, it has been going very well, and we foresee it continuing to go well in the future,” she said.

The city also established a second social district earlier this year along Thomas Edison Parkway and the Blue Water Bridge, though Cynthia Cutright, the city’s special projects coordinator, said it had “not yet received final MLCC approval.”

Contact Jackie Smith at (810) 989-6270 or jssmith@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jackie20Smith.

This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: 'Just shy of 23,000 drinks,' city adding Sperry's to downtown social district