MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - City hall is trying to find ways to get control of Beale Street. They have a number of ideas from having people pay a cover charge, to a new police precinct.
There were no major problems on Beale Street this past weekend. One reason, according to merchants, is because police decided not to sweep crowds off the streets.
Not controlling crowds may be the best way to avoid trouble.
There aren't many problems on Beale Street by day, but Saturday night is a different story. Rowdy crowds usually have police sweeping the street and kicking people out.
This weekend there was a new approach. There was no street sweeping and - surprise, surprise - there were no major problems.
Kevin Kane is part owner of a Beale Street club.
"The reality is they are all probably an hour away from leaving so why cause a situation that put police in a adversarial situation with the patrons," ne noted.
Merchants are also considering a cover charge. Patrons would pay $10 to get on the street, then get 8 back in what are called 'Beale Street Bucks,' which could be used to buy drinks at Beale Street's bars.
While the 'Beale Street Bucks' idea is being considered, truth is it's been under consideration for two years and has yet to happen.
Then there is a new police precinct on Beale. Construction is scheduled to begin there next week, transforming an old bar into a police station.
"I think with the coming move of the police precinct on the street, that will be the answer to our problems," said Beale Street store owner Tater Red. "Once it opens it will take care of any problems that arrive."
Merchants are hopeful a police precinct and getting rid of those confrontational sweeps means the Beale Street brawls will go away.
Kane told abc24.com, "Hopefully this works and we don't have to worry about 'Beale Street Bucks' or anything else."
Sources say the city is also trying to buy the troubled Club Crave at the east end of Beale. Plans are to tear it down and put in a parking lot.