By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor
Grove City Council will consider legislation to relax rules associated with the designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA).
At the June 6 meeting, council heard a first reading on an ordinance to amend legislation that would allow DORA hours to operate during special events in Grove City. The current rules state that the DORA operates from 2 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Saturday, excluding the annual Homecoming Celebration, Boo Off Broadway, and the Christmas Celebration. The amended legislation proposes to remove Homecoming, Boo Off Broadway, and the Christmas Celebration from the excluded events list.
According to Law Director Stephen Smith, when the city first established the DORA, city leaders were not sure how it would work with current city events.
“The DORA was new to us, but we are now comfortable that it can co-exist with events,” said Smith.
The outdoor refreshment area was adopted by city council in 2019. It includes areas in the Town Center north of Cleveland Avenue, east of Arbutus Avenue, south of Civic Place, and west behind City Hall. Last year, council voted to expand the boundaries to the city-owned lot next to the old library site on Park Street and to the southeast corner of Civic Place and Broadway.
The DORA is essentially a waiver of Grove City’s open container law for a designated area. It allows patrons (ages 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. Participants can sit outside and drink or they browse the designated area.
If council approves the amendment, citizens would not be prohibited from partaking in the DORA during the Homecoming Celebration, Boo Off Broadway, and the Christmas Celebration.
“I have not seen any significant issues related to the DORA,” said Smith. “It is working well.”
Andy Furr, executive director of the Heart of Grove City, who proposed the creation of the DORA several years ago, said businesses have seen a boost since its implementation. He said Town Center establishments that sold food and alcohol have reported an uptick in business but also said retail shop owners have seen an increase in foot traffic.
According to Furr, Grove City is the only community in central Ohio to offer its DORA six days a week, year-round.
Council will hold its second reading and public hearing on the proposed legislation on June 20. If passed, the amended ordinance would go into effect in 30 days after it is approved.
For more information on the DORA, visit grovecityohio.gov.