The City of Dublin is seeking input from its residents regarding a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) for its downtown.
“The DORA designation would allow patrons age 21 and older to purchase an alcoholic beverage from an approved, liquor-permitted establishment, then sip, stroll, shop, and explore within the DORA boundaries,” the city states on its website. “The creation of the DORA is intended to enhance the outdoor dining and entertainment experiences in downtown Dublin, while encouraging more business for participating restaurant and retail establishments in the area.”
The Dublin DORAs would be in the city’s popular new Bridge Street District, along Riverside Drive and Longshore Street down to Bridge Street. The other would be in the historic downtown area across the Scioto River on Blacksmith Lane and include portions of Franklin and High streets.
The two areas are united by a pedestrian bridge, which Dublin said “is the only single-tower S-shaped suspension bridge in the world.”
“The State of Ohio approved the DORA concept in 2015, and many cities in central Ohio have an active DORA, including Hilliard, Powell, Worthington, Grove City and Delaware,” Dublin’s website states.
Downtown Powell’s DORA was unanimously approved for special events in 2019, and stretches north and south from Ill Mannered Brewing Co. on Grace Drive to the southernmost part of the Village Green Park, and east and west from Beech Ridge Drive to Monte Carlo Italian Kitchen on West Olentangy Street.
The City of Delaware originally approved its downtown district DORA in 2017, with boundaries of Sandusky Street from Central Avenue to just north of Spring Street, and William and Winter streets from Franklin Street to Union Street. An expansion of times was approved in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the frequently asked questions about DORAs are how whether they would be impacted by the coronavirus in terms of gathering and congregating.
In response, Dublin’s website states, “Contrarily, a DORA expands the space for patrons of downtown Dublin businesses, giving people more room to social distance. Should a DORA take effect while COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, all health restrictions and guidelines would be strictly adhered to and promoted through appropriate signage and other forms of communication.”
Dublin City Council will hold a virtual public meeting regarding the DORA from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 3. To participate, visit https://dublinohiousa.gov/dora/.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak. Dillon Davis contributed to this story.