Yellow Springs taking a second look at opening designated outdoor drinking area downtown

A 2016 file photo of the Yellow Springs Street Fair. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)
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A 2016 file photo of the Yellow Springs Street Fair. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)

The Yellow Springs village council is considering designating an outdoor drinking area, similar to what other cities have adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic to help local restaurants.

Village Manager Josué Salmerón showed council a map of downtown Yellow Springs where the area could be, and it would include most of the restaurants such as the Winds Cafe, Peach’s Grill and Yellow Springs Brewery.

Other cities, including Dayton and Springfield, have such an area, called a DORA, or a designated outdoor refreshment area.

Council member Lisa Kreeger said she would be interested in bringing the topic up again. A similar proposal failed last year, she said.

“You know, I had some failed ideas a year ago or so about this on a more limited basis,” she said.

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Kreeger wanted to hear from Yellow Springs Village Police Chief Brian Carlson to see if he saw any potential problems, she said. She was interested in seeing the area on weekends only.

Council member Laura Curliss said the village should consider speaking with the Springfield city manager to get an idea of how their designated drinking area worked.

Council member Kevin Stokes said he was interested in such a proposal but he said he would also like to limit it to weekends.

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He said he wanted to see plenty of signs so that people don’t leave the area on accident.

“I guess we want to be careful, putting up too many signs that, you know, just making sure folks know where the boundaries are,” Stokes said.

Salmerón said he would put together a proposal and bring it back to a future meeting for council to vote on it.