CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A member of city council says legislation is forthcoming to create a designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA) at the Banks.
“Just had a great conversation about establishing our first DORA District (open container district) at the Banks," Cincinnati City Councilperson Chris Seelback tweeted. “Expect legislation in the next month! Sounds like all stakeholders are on board!"
Broadly speaking, DORAs are entertainment districts where people can drink alcohol in public spaces so long as they stay within the district’s boundary and use a designated cup.
Beverages including beer, wine, and liquor can often be purchased at businesses with a liquor permit located within the district. Drinks brought in from outside the DORA boundary are generally not permitted.
The district can be of varying size. Its boundary is often marked with signage indicating drinks cannot be taken beyond that point.
DORAs are often subject to hourly schedules, such that patrons can only roam with their drinks during certain hours on certain days.
In Greater Cincinnati, both Lebanon and Bellevue have established DORAs.
A DORA at the Banks could be attractive to businesses in the sprawling riverfront development as they seek to draw in customers following pandemic-related closures.
Ohio restaurants were able to begin outdoor dining last week.
A separate plan announced by Mayor John Cranley two weeks ago envisioned partial lane closures to accommodate in-street patio dining around the city’s urban basin neighborhoods.
That plan has taken off in Over-the-Rhine and is set to be expanded to restaurants in other neighborhoods, but so far it does not appear to have coalesced at the Banks.
One concern the mayor cited, speaking on discussions with stakeholders at the Banks, was he did not want to create an Opening Day atmosphere on Freedom Way due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
Another issue pertains to the large indoor floor plans of restaurants at the Banks; floor plans that can allow for socially distanced table spacing more easily than those in Over-the-Rhine.
Ohio restaurants may reopen their indoor dining areas with appropriate social distancing May 21.