DORAs Have Become a Hit in Southern Ohio

Cincinnatians support local businesses with breezy pleasure and a drink in hand.

For chill summer vibes, there is nothing quite like strolling with a cup of cold beer on a beautiful evening. Now, thanks to the recent proliferation of DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) districts around Southwest Ohio, more and more Cincinnatians get to experience this breezy pleasure. In a DORA district, patrons can purchase alcoholic beverages in special cups from a bar, restaurant, or shop with a DORA permit and stroll around an assigned area (and into participating businesses), drink in hand.

According to Rusty Herzog, Wyoming’s city manager, the district has not only been a boon to local businesses, but it’s also helped attract new establishments. “We’ve had new businesses come in, like The W Lounge,” he explains. “It appears to have been an attraction for local businesses to take advantage of the DORA.”

Wyoming became one in a growing list of cities around the area with DORAs when it launched a little over two years ago. Hamilton’s started in 2018 while Milford and Loveland’s were established in 2019. The ones at The Banks and in Cheviot took off last March, and Blue Ash recently approved its DORA in April. Deerfield Township, Middletown, Ripley, and Montgomery also have them, and Northern Kentucky has gotten in on the action with DORAs in Bellevue and Fort Thomas.

What’s the biggest challenge with maintaining a DORA? “The trash cleanup,” Herzog notes. Future DORAs, take note: You’ll have to invest in more cans and pickups with all those extra people strolling about. But, as Herzog says, it’s not a bad problem to have.

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