Piqua starts outdoor drinking area

PIQUA – The city of Piqua on Friday started a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area in the central business district.

Hours for the area will be noon to 10 p.m. seven days a week. A 90-day trial period is planned by the city. When that expires, the city commission will review the initiative and decide if any adjustments are needed.

State law allows a outdoor drinking area where adults 21 years and older can possess or consume alcohol in public with certain restrictions.

Tipp City has an active outdoor drinking district in its downtown. Troy City Council approved one in the downtown area earlier this year. The ordinance is being challenged in a referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The boundaries in Piqua include the central business district area bordered by North Street, Spring Street, Wood Street and Wayne Street, extending west on Water Street to Roosevelt Avenue, including Fort Piqua Plaza, McColloch Square and Lock 9 Park. The district excludes the area around the YMCA, YWCA, St James Church, Municipal Government Complex and U.S. Post Office.

“The purpose of establishing a DORA in downtown Piqua is to promote the appeal of visiting or living in a walkable and attractive downtown environment. Piqua’s DORA will effectively expand outdoor seating areas for food establishments licensed to sell alcohol and is intended to excite additional activity in downtown Piqua and encourage additional patronage of local businesses,” City Manager Paul Oberdorfer wrote in the city’s application to the state. The area was created in a partnership of the city and the Mainstreet Piqua downtown advocacy organization.

“We appreciate the fact the city is doing this on a 90-day trial period. We think that will give the community a chance to figure out if it is right for downtown Piqua,” said Lorna Swisher, Mainstreet Piqua executive director.

“We believe this may be an important tool we can use to attract much needed additional food options, such as restaurants and eateries, for the Piqua community,” she said.

The city of Piqua provided the following facts:

- Businesses open to the public may choose to allow DORA beverages in their establishment at their own discretion.

- Each licensed liquor establishment within DORA decides if they wish to participate.

Establishments may choose to place a green or red DORA window decal near the entrance of the business to inform patrons whether DORA beverages are permitted.

- DORA beverage purchases at one alcohol-serving establishment are not permitted to be taken into another alcohol establishment.

- DORA Beverages may only be consumed from an approved DORA cup available only at participating licensed liquor-serving establishments. DORA cups are for a single use only (no refills).

- Only those 21+ years of age may consume beverages from a DORA cup.

- No outside alcohol is permitted inside the DORA boundaries.

For more information, visit www.piquaoh.org/DORA

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