Here are some drinks to enjoy while you’re Out on 5th

Oregon District is central to Dayton’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Patio weather has finally arrived in Ohio and from now through September, we’ll have days with some of the most glorious weather you can find — not too hot, not too cold ... juuuuuust right.

Over the next few weeks I plan to focus on my favorite patios — in the Oregon District, downtown Dayton, the suburbs and hidden gem patios, as well as one of my favorite outdoor dining spots I fell in love with in Southern Ohio last year. There is such a wealth of locations to enjoy that it’s going to take more than one sitting for me to write and for you, in turn, to digest.

But before we dig into patios, a lot of questions have come up regarding what’s happening in the Oregon District, enough that I felt an explainer might be in order.

Last week was the opening of Out on 5th in the Oregon District. This program, launched by the Oregon District Business Association, opens Fifth Street up for guests to shop, dine and relax in the open air. Every Friday night through Sunday evening, Fifth Street is closed to vehicles between Patterson Boulevard and Wayne Avenue, allowing restaurants and bars room to expand patio seating into the streets, filling Fifth Street with public seating. This allows visitors room to spread out on a pedestrian mall, socially distancing and enjoying outdoor dining and drinking. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

This is not to be confused with DORA or “Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area,” a program that is in effect from noon until midnight 363 days a year. Exceptions are St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) and the last Saturday in October for Hauntfest. DORA allows customers who are 21 and older to purchase alcoholic beverages in a special cup from permitted establishments and to then carry and consume these beverages within the DORA boundaries.

The boundaries basically go from the Convention Center and Crowne Plaza at Main and Fifth streets (the Levitt Pavilion is not part of the DORA boundary) up Fifth Street to Franco’s at Bainbridge Street. From Wayne Avenue it goes just past East Fourth Street up to Wheat Penny at Jones Street.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The rules of DORA are pretty simple:

1) Stay within DORA boundaries.

2) Drink your drink before you go into another DORA restaurant or bar establishment selling DORA drinks.

3) Feel free to take your beverage into any OD business with an official “DORA beverages allowed here” sticker on the door or near the entrance. If a business does not allow a DORA beverage inside, they will display the “No DORA allowed” sticker.

4) One beverage per cup use, please don’t forget to recycle.

5) Drink responsibly.

Here are the businesses where you can purchase your beverage of choice, along with a few suggestions of a drink you might consider ordering.

Belle of Dayton - Van Buren Room

122 Van Buren St., Dayton or (937) 250-1837

Order up!: The Penicillin ($10) made with blended scotch, maple smoke, ginger syrup, lemon and candied ginger.

Blind Bob’s

430 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 938-6405

Order up!: You can order a drink, but if I were going to sip on something, it would be their amazing pickle soup ($4 for a bowl, $2.50 for a cup) that’s a creamy chowder potato soup made with grated dill pickles. It’s not for everyone but I absolutely love it, and if you love pickles you will too.

Crowne Plaza

33 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 224-0800

Order up!: I would order a drink and stay at the bar or restaurant, View 162 at the top of the Crowne Plaza. It’s one of the best views of the city, especially as the sun sets.

The Dublin Pub

300 Wayne Ave., Dayton or (937) 224-7822

Order up!: A perfect pint of Guinness Dry Irish Stout. Dublin Pub’s draft system uses 75% nitrogen and 25% carbon dioxide in the Guinness pour for which they have received the only “Perfect Pint Award” from Guinness. That’s high praise.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Franco’s Ristorante & La Taverna

824 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 222-0204

Order up!: A shot of Sambuca with three coffee beans termed “con la mosca” or with fly in Italian. The three coffee beans symbolize health, happiness and prosperity. They can be chewed to help neutralize the flavor of the Sambuca or left in the glass.

Hole in the Wall

423 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 818-2033

Order up!: You’re not going to want to leave this place with its wall of free video games to play, so order up whatever you like and hang out a sec.

Jay’s Seafood

225 E. Sixth St., Dayton or (937) 222-2892

Order up!: A refreshing classic cocktail like a Gin Rickey made with gin, lime juice, club soda and muddled mint. Perfect for a summer walk about.

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Lily’s Bistro

329 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 723-7637

Order up!: You can’t go wrong with Lily’s cocktails starting with the Mahalo Margarita at the top of the menu made with Mi Campo silver tequila, Wahaka mezcal, Aperol, fresh lime juice and fresh cucumber juice ($9).

Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery

520 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 222-6800

Order up!: One of the local drafts they have on tap.

Ned Peppers

419 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 224-4888

Order up!: Get a Tiki drink at the bar in the back.

The Neon

130 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 222-7469

Order up!: If it’s early in the day get yourself a spiked coffee.

Newcom’s Tavern

418 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 223-2470

Order up: An Absolut Moscow Mule made with vodka, ginger beer, simple syrup and lime.

Oregon Express

336 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 223-9205

Order up!: The OE makes the baddest and tastiest Long Island out there, but be warned it will knock you down. When they say drink responsibly, they mean don’t have more than two of these in a sitting.

Roost Modern Italian

524 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 222-3100

Order up!: Buy yourself a drink and then buy the kitchen one for $9. The Kitchen Cool-Aid option on the menu is some good drinking karma for the day.

Salar Restaurant & Lounge

410 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 203-3999

Order up: A smoked margarita made with Jalapeño Infused Tequila, Mezcal, fresh lime, basil, cucumber, agave and celery bitters.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Thai 9

11 Brown St., Dayton or (937) 222-3227

Order up!: A seat on their patio and hang out with your drink.

Toxic Brew Company

431 E. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 985-3618

Order up!: The Practice Yoga IPA. This 5.1% beer is light, tasty and crushable.

Troll Pub

216 Wayne Ave., Dayton or (937) 723-7709

Order up!: A Troll Fashioned ($10) made with Old Forester Signature, a touch of brown sugar syrup and a couple dashes of bitters and garnished with an orange zest.

Trolley Stop

530 W. Fifth St., Dayton or (937) 461-1101

Order up!: A seat on that back patio!

Tumbleweed Connection

454 E. Fifth St., Dayton

(937) 228-5500

Order up!: An old school beer to go, or take it up to the second-floor balcony and hold court for a while.

Wheat Penny Oven & Bar

515 Wayne Ave., Dayton or (937) 496-5268

Order up!: A Basil Smash ($10) made with Tito’s Vodka, St. Germain, Lemon, Basil and Grapefruit Cordial.

Wiley’s Comedy Club

101 Pine St., Dayton or (937) 224-5653

Order up!: A cocktail that sounds like a punch line ... sex on the beach maybe?

Yellow Cab Tavern

700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

(937) 424 3870

Order up: A boozy milkshake — choose from a Grasshopper, Bushwacker Screwball Peanut Butter and Chocolate or a Fruit Loop and Rumchata ($10 each).

Visit to see more information on parking and how to plan your visit.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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