Beale Street has instituted a policy that increases safety by charging visitors a new fee.
WMC-TV reported visitors arriving at midnight Saturday or later had to pay a $10 charge to get past a security checkpoint and onto the iconic street in Memphis. The station reports the special event cover charge paid for 23 extra security officers.
Many who were visiting along the street said they didn’t mind paying the extra fee.
“It’s $10, you go to any night club, there’s always some sort of cover charge,” said Monique Brown.
Alfred Brown added, “We traveled a long way, so $10 in Memphis wouldn’t be much for us.”
Richard Carnell Allen II, who was on Beale Saturday night with a group visiting from out of town, said the $10 cover charge surprised him.
“It was different. Never been in a situation where I had to pay to get on the street and then pay to get in a bar, but it was all right. It was worth it,” said Carnell.
The fee for Saturday night and Sunday morning is part of a plan merchants decided to put in place to keep things safe. They also agreed that gates to the street would close at 2:30 a.m. and businesses would close by 3.
“That was on our own; we made all these decisions on our own. We don’t want to be like those guys standing around that guy last week and not do anything, or we’re just as guilty,” said Ty Agee, Beale Street Merchants Association.
Last week, police found a man unconscious and bleeding from the head while a crowd of people stood around him.
Merchants said they plan other changes to help keep Beale Street safe for everyone.