Q: What is a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA)?
DORA is a specifically designated area that allows patrons over the age of 21 to purchase alcoholic beverages from a permitted establishment and carry them within a clearly defined area within the City. Established in April 2015 by Section 4301.82 of the O.R.C.; it creates an exemption from the Open Container Law; under the statute, a person who purchases beer or intoxicating liquor from the holder of a permit with a DORA designation is permitted to have that beverage in an open container at any outdoor location within the DORA.
Q: How many other communities in Ohio have a DORA?
Over 36 other communities in Ohio actively benefit from a DORA. Communities include Akron, Bellefontaine, Bowling Green, Canton, Chillicothe, Columbiana, Defiance, Delaware, Fairborn, Grove City, Hamilton, Hilliard, Kent, Lancaster, Lebanon, Liberty Center, Lorain, Loveland, Louisville, Lyndhurst, Marysville, Mason, Middletown, Milford (Belmont Cty.), Milford (Clermont Cty.), Napolean, New Richmond, Oxford, Port Clinton, Powell, Shaker Heights, Springfield, Sylvania, Tiffin, Toledo, and Worthington + more.
Q: What are the benefits of having a DORA in Logan?
Increases visitors to bars + restaurants: Bars + restaurants will be able to turn over more guests by allowing for quick, to-go service of DORA drinks. Bars + restaurants will also be able to increase sales of alcoholic beverages by providing DORA drinks to-go as visitors desire to walk around downtown and continue their stay in Logan.
Allows for social distancing: With limitations on capacity in downtown bars + restaurants, creating a DORA would generate revenue for these establishments without having to seat diners.
Lengthens time visitors spend downtown: A DORA would enhance the atmosphere downtown by allowing drinks to be enjoyed within the specific District, thus enabling visitors to stay longer and spend more money. It's no secret that customer retention is key to increasing revenue. Visitors will stroll with their drinks, peruse retail shops, and stay longer with DORA.
Creates an enhanced, unique experience in Logan: Compared to other cities in Ohio, activating a DORA in Logan would set our town apart by enhancing the visitor experience, serving as a selling point for increased tourism, and providing a tool for economic development when leveraged to encourage additional small businesses to open downtown. Additionally, downtown events would be enhanced by an increase in foot traffic for downtown retailers and participants to support local bars + restaurants without the commitment of a sit-down meal.
Increases retail sales: Creating more opportunities for foot traffic downtown is key to supporting downtown retailers. During special events, for example, many visitors could spend the first 1-2 hours inside bars + restaurants having a drink and enjoying a bite. Activating a DORA would create more opportunities for visitors to support downtown bars + restaurants AND retailers anytime they visit downtown on a Friday or Saturday night.
Q: I'm supportive of small businesses and of downtown but I'm concerned about the "what ifs" of a DORA, with folks carrying open containers of alcohol. Should I be worried?
With a DORA, downtown bars + restaurants are held to the same guidelines they always are to ensure the safety of their guests, check IDs, and not over-serve alcohol to patrons. Our local Police Department will without a doubt continue to excel in ensuring safety for our town. By ending DORA at 10 p.m., we reduce the likelihood that DORA drinks will be abused in late-night social gatherings. The details of our DORA are highly customizable and if, for any reason, DORA needs to be temporarily suspended, we have the power locally to do so via Logan City Council.
Q: Do all downtown businesses need to participate in the DORA?
Not at all. Upon activating Logan's DORA, all downtown establishments have the option to participate. For bars + restaurants that carry appropriate liquor permits, owners can opt-in to participate by agreeing to the local terms of participation. For non-bar/restaurant establishments, window decals will be made available that indicate whether DORA drinks are permitted within their establishment. The Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce will maintain lists of participants across the board for marketing + promotion.
Q: Simply, will folks be walking around drunk downtown, making a mess, and disrespecting the space we care about so much?
The DORA is intended to be a nice thing for our community, and we hope individuals who participate in the DORA respect the guidelines put out so we can continue to have nice things in Logan. That being said, as always, we entrust the protection of our town to the Logan City Police Department and the safety of patrons to bartenders who distribute alcohol to customers year-round.