New outdoor drinking area at Austin Landing expected to add participants



More restaurants want to be added to a new outdoor drinking district at Austin Landing.

The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, launched in July at the 96-acre mixed-us complex. It operates daily from 4 to 11 p.m., allowing patrons 21 and older to purchase alcoholic beverages from approved restaurants and carry their beer, wine or liquor in a clear, 16-ounce cup within the district’s boundaries, including shops that choose to allow it.

The district adds flexibility for local residents shopping at Austin Landing, as well as residents of The Flats and guests of two hotels at the mixed-use center, according to Danniele Simon, who handles marketing and events for the mixed-use center.

“It gives them the ability “to have more of a relaxed, casual environment and ... go from establishment to establishment and make that your afternoon or evening entertainment and not have to stay at one place and finish your beverage before you’re hurrying out the door,” Simon said. “You can kind of take your time.”

Just like in other outdoor drinking districts, patrons are served drinks in designated plastic cups marked “DORA” with the rules of the district printed on the side. Newly installed signage indicates the district’s boundaries and where alcoholic drinks are allowed and prohibited.



Austin Landing is installing new tables and benches to allow for more outdoor seating within the district, she said.

Tenants participating in the outdoor drinking district include Cyclebar, Jungle Red Salon, Firebirds, elé Cake Co., Cinepolis, Chuy’s, Anthony Vince Nail Spa and BJ’s Brewhouse, Simon said.

“A lot of our businesses have to make sure they’re able to do this on a corporate level, it’s not just an Austin Landing level, so we I think will see in the upcoming weeks, we’ll see more and more join in,” she said.

Austin Landing’s newest restaurant, Big Chicken, is allowing DORA beverages inside, but won’t be able to serve them until it has a liquor permit, Simon said.

Businesses hoping to join the outdoor drinking district include Dewey’s Pizza and Buffalo Wild Wings, she said. Those that are coming soon and plan to join include The Frost Factory and Park Grille & Bar.

DORAs launched in Ohio in 2015 as an economic development tool and way to garner exposure for communities and businesses alike.

Miami Twp. trustees approved creation of the district last September. The delay between that decision and the launch of the district this summer was because Austin Landing needed to ensure it had all the appropriate signage and worked with businesses to determine who would be participating or not, Simon said.

“As new tenants come in, we’re hoping to see the number of participants increase,” Simon said.

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