City council to consider expanding the DORA

0
321

By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

Two years ago, Andy Furr, executive director of the Heart of Grove City, proposed the creation of a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in the Grove City Town Center. The goal was to bring more foot traffic into the downtown area.

“Folks in Grove City are very happy with the DORA,” said Furr.

The outdoor refreshment area was adopted by city council in 2019. At that time, it operated from 2 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. In 2020, council voted to expand the DORA in days of operation from Monday through Saturday. Now, council will decide if the DORA should expand its boundaries.

According to city legislation, the DORA is approximately 15 acres in size. It includes areas north of Cleveland Avenue, east of Arbutus Avenue, south of Civic Place and west behind City Hall. On Sept. 7, council will vote on a proposal to expand the refreshment area to the city-owned lot next to the old library site on Park Street and to the southeast corner of Civic Place and Broadway.

According to Furr, more community events are moving off Broadway, along Park Street and this expansion would allow patrons to bring their beverage to the properties where more events are taking place. He said the expansion south on Broadway would allow several businesses to take part in the DORA, including MOJO on Broadway and Mr. Southern Flava.

“It would increase access for these folks,” said Furr.

The DORA is essentially a waiver of Grove City’s open container law for a designated area. It allows patrons (age 21 and older) to buy an alcoholic beverage, from an established permit holder, and take that drink outside in the marked areas. The beverages are poured into an identifiable plastic cup. People can sit outside and drink or they can browse the area.

“We have seen an uptick of use of the DORA, especially on Friday nights and for events,” said Furr. “It’s a very relaxed vibe.”

Furr said he expected this to boost business for those establishments that sold food and alcohol but said retail shop owners have also reported an increase in foot traffic.

“It’s been great to see,” he said.

Many communities in central Ohio have created designated outdoor refreshment areas recently. Some communities have even reached out to the Heart of Grove City for tips.
According to Furr, Grove City is the only community in central Ohio to offer its DORA six days a week, year-round.

When the idea was first proposed in Grove City, some were worried about safety or patrons becoming unruly from drinking too much.

According to Grove City Division of Police Chief Richard Butsko, there has not been many problems thus far.

“The division of police has not experienced any notable, frequent, or ongoing problems stemming from the DORA. Additionally, we have no safety concerns with expansion of the boundaries,” said Butsko.

The DORA does not operate on Sundays, nor does it operate during the annual alumni event, Boo on Broadway, or the Christmas Celebration.

Grove City Council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The next meeting was moved to Tuesday, Sept. 7 due to Labor Day.

For more information on the DORA, visit grovecityohio.gov.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.