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Pedal Wagon Coming to Covington; City Prepares for Earlier Drinking for Bengals

Two issues related to booze received the blessing of the Covington City Commission on Tuesday.

First, the popular Pedal Wagon will soon be allowed to operate in the city. It is already a common sight in Cincinnati and Columbus, and after the 2016 General Assembly amended Kentucky's alcoholic beverage control statute to allow for the operation of "commercial quadricycles", the enterprise is moving south.

Owner Jack Heekin presented his business to the city commission and allowed them to hop aboard one of his vehicles on Pike Street outside City Hall. The ordinance that would allow Heekin to begin taking trips in Covington will require a second reading, but the proposal was received favorably on Tuesday.

The Pedal Wagon is booked privately and is not used like a taxi service.

In Cincinnati, the Pedal Wagon allows party-goers to bring alcoholic beverages aboard (none are served by the business) and to pedal the vehicle around town. The Pedal Wagon can fit up to 15 people, with six on each side and three in the back, all pedaling. According to the company's website, pedaling is not difficult with a larger group - but with smaller groups, the city's inclines can be a challenge.

Riders can be under 18 - if the ride is not related to a pub crawl.

Routes for the pedal wagon can be created by the booker, or a designated route can be selected. In Cincinnati, for example, some regular tours include downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

Heekin said Tuesday that before Pedal Wagon operates in Covington, he is looking for a space to store the vehicles, and that may include buying a building (the company has been pre-approved) or renting. "We would like to purchase a building and rehab it or if we could just find something in order to rent for the time being," Heekin said. Pedal Wagon would be the first legally sanctioned operation in Kentucky. He said operations in Louisville and Lexington were in motion prior to the amended statute.

"We're going about it the right way," he said.

On weekdays, the Pedal Wagon will have to be off the road by 9 p.m., and by midnight on weekends.

In other business, Covington is temporarily adjusting its Sunday alcohol rules to accommodate a special Cincinnati Bengals game. It's "Who Dey in the U.K." as the Bengals travel to London, England for a match-up with the Washington Redskins on Sunday, October 30. The game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. U.K. time, which means for a unique morning game locally.

And what's a Bengals game without beer?

Covington will allow for alcohol sales to take place at 9 a.m. so that fans can celebrate appropriately. Ft. Wright made a similar move so that its bars could serve football fans.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Top photo: Mayor Sherry Carran in the driver's seat of the pedal wagon with City Manager Larry Klein and City Commissioner Jordan Huizenga (photo by Commissioner Chuck Eilerman/used with permission)

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