Hilliard City Council voted unanimously Monday night to extend the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) to seven days a week this summer and expand the boundaries to include more businesses.
For 2021, the City will operate the DORA from noon to 9 p.m. daily from June 1 through Oct. 31. Council’s action also adds Franklin Street and five new participating establishments to the DORA boundaries. “The goal is to encourage growth and economic development in Old Hilliard,” said City Manager Michelle Crandall. “By expanding the DORA, we hope to see even more people enjoying our downtown area and safely enjoying meals and beverages outside.”
The Ohio Revised Code allows municipalities to create DORAs, establishing specific guidelines, times and boundaries in which the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages are permitted outdoors in public rights of way.
The Hilliard DORA began on Main Street in summer 2017 allowing patrons of participating Old Hilliard restaurants and bars to enjoy alcoholic beverages within specific boundaries outdoors at the Thursday night “Celebration at the Station” concerts.
To support businesses that were negatively impacted by COVID-19 in 2020, the City closed a portion of Center Street, installed temporary tables and chairs, and expanded the DORA to four days a week to create a safe and socially distanced area for families to dine and enjoy adult beverages outdoors.
Council’s decision came after the City polled residents on whether they would support a seven-day-a-week DORA. Results showed that over 93 percent of those who participated were in favor of the daily DORA.
The expanded boundaries will add Yabo’s Tacos, Makoy Center, Benito’s, Hillgarten, and the planned Junction by Westwood to participating businesses. The DORA also includes Otie’s Tavern and Grill, the Old Bag of Nails Pub, Local Cantina, Starliner Diner, Legacy Smokehouse, Abner’s Casual Dining, and Crooked Can Brewing.
“Hilliard is an amazing community, and expanding the DORA will encourage people to come out and experience it for themselves,” Crandall said. The DORA will begin on June 1. Patrons must buy alcohol from one of the 13 participating establishments and drink in a designated DORA cup.