HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Some new signs in downtown Huntington have people asking if what they say is real. The signs read “You are now entering the PODA” which stands for “Private Outdoor Designated Area.”

The City of Huntington says anyone of legal drinking age can walk around downtown with an adult beverage, but there are some restrictions.

Only people with clear cups with the “PODA” logo can take their drinks on the go, so no outdoor alcoholic beverages will be allowed to enter the area.

Anyone is welcome to explore businesses that have a sticker that reads “PODA beverages welcome.” Rules pertaining to public intoxication, indecency, noise, and driving while intoxicated still apply.

City officials say they hoped this new development would be underway this weekend, which is why they went ahead and put up the signs.

However, some restaurants are still working on getting permitting done through the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration.

This was approved by the West Virginia Legislature earlier this year and Huntington is the first city in the entire state to put it into action, creating an ordinance for the PODA back in June.

Once all the permits are approved, this will start on Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The PODA will be open from the beginning of April to the end of October.

Other cities in our region have similar ordinances including Ashland, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio.