Ohio Department Of Commerce Gives Approval For Outdoor Drinking Area In Uptown Maumee

State authorities approved a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) in uptown Maumee. The DORA is designed to increase outdoor dining and foot traffic in the uptown area and could be in place at the beginning of July.

BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — The Ohio Department of Commerce has granted approval for the city of Maumee to implement a Designated Outdoor Refresh-ment Area or DORA in uptown Maumee.

That action on May 15 was the final step in the process to officially enact the DORA. On April 1, the city held a hearing on the plan and passed legislation to officially approve it. City officials are hoping to have the DORA in place and fully operating by the Independence Day fireworks.

The DORA designation will allow patrons ages 21 and older to purchase an alcoholic beverage from an approved, liquor-permitted establishment including Dale’s Bar & Grill, the Village Idiot, Buster Brown’s Big Dog Lounge and the Elks. Those purchasing a beverage from those businesses may sip from a designated DORA cup and must stay within the confines of the designated area. The involved businesses would also set up a designated organization to establish guidelines, rules and bylaws for the DORA. 

The DORA area will include Conant Street from the Anthony Wayne Trail to Broadway Street and each block to the east and west off Conant Street between Gibbs and Allen streets. It also includes the Elks parking lot. 

At the May 17 meeting, Maumee City Council appropriated up to $20,000 for the purchase of new signage, which will be installed at each of the 12 entrances to the DORA area at the perimeter, and $1,000 was approved to finalize the logo, which will appear on the signs. Also approved at the meeting was the appropriation of $12,000 to purchase DORA cups, which will be distributed to the participating businesses to help get them started. 

The DORA proposal is not intended to promote drunken activity in uptown Maumee, but rather to allow local businesses to expand operations by expanding outdoor areas for dining and events, said Maumee Mayor Rich Carr.

“What it’s really going to do is expand opportunities,” he said. “I get what people say, but I think their vision of people walking up and down Conant Street drinking isn’t what this is intended to do, and it is not what it is going to be.”

At least three new restaurants have also expressed interest in moving into the city, he added.

Designated hours for the DORA are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 1:00 to 10:00 p.m. 

The DORA hours could also change for special events.

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