DORA arrives in Findlay: Enjoy drinks outdoors while walking downtown

The weather is warming up but the drinks are staying cold – especially in Findlay. The Findlay City Council and Mayor Christina Muryn recently moved to approve a Designated Downtown Refreshment Area (DORA) which officially opened on May 7. A DORA is a designated area where patrons can purchase alcoholic beverages from participating bars and restaurants, and then consume those beverages while walking around. This helps create an inviting and flexible downtown area.

Financial Boost
Findlay joins several other cities in Ohio that have already implemented DORAs including Toledo, Columbus, Tiffin, Defiance and Fremont, creating profitable opportunities for local businesses. “This was an idea that has been kicked around for a little while,” says Joshua Palmer, Findlay city council member. “What really got it going was the pandemic to help out our small businesses in times of need.”

There are 15 Findlay businesses that have the necessary permit to participate in DORA:

The Hancock Hotel
The Bistro
Logan’s Irish Pub
Alexandria’s
Findlay Brewing Company
Modcraft Brewing
The Gathering
Vivir Modern Mexican  
Wine Merchant  
Japan West
Stix    
The Bourbon Affair 
Rossilli’s Restaurant   
Findlay Inn & Conference Center 
Amy May’s Downtown

Palmer says the City of Findlay did not incur any expenses as the cost of the DORA cups and signage was minimal and was covered by the Findlay Hancock County Convention, Visitors Bureau and the participating businesses. “This is really a win-win for the city and for the businesses,” he says.

How Does it Work?
To ensure you and others can fully enjoy the experience of DORA, please keep in mind the following. 

  1. You can visit any participating business with a DORA decal on the outside within the DORA boundaries and ask for a designated DORA cup. 
  2. You can take your beverage outside and enjoy walking through DORA.
  3. After you’re finished with your beverage, be sure you dispose of your DORA cup prior to entering another participating DORA business.
  4. You cannot:
    1. Bring your own drinks into the DORA or walk around with a purchased drink that is not in a designated DORA plastic container. This means that cans and glasses are not permitted.
    2. Take a beverage that you purchased at one participating businesses and take it into another participating business.

Safety Concerns
The City of Findlay recognizes the potential for disruptive behavior with the implementation of DORA. However, due to the convenient location of the Police Department within the boundaries, there will be regular patrol throughout the area. To further limit any disruptive behavior, DORA hours are set from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. 

As for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the vast walking area within DORA boundaries allows for more room to social distance. Patrons will be required to adhere to COVID-19 regulations. Businesses will also continue to promote this through appropriate signage and other forms of communication.

If you have any questions, you are encouraged to reach out to Findlay City Council by emailing CityCouncil-All@findlayohio.com.