Fairfield’s outdoor drinking district goes into effect on Monday

This will be Butler County’s fifth DORA.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The public rollout of the Fairfield designated outdoor refreshment area, or DORA, isn’t until Thursday’s Naked Karate Girls performance at the bimonthly Groovin’ on the Green concert series.

But businesses participating in the city’s DORA can start selling beverages in the specialized to-go cups starting noon on Monday.

City Council last month unanimously supported the creation of the 27-acre DORA district, and Councilman Matt Davidson said “it’s great for Fairfield” because it can help attract people and families to the city.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

“If you look at some of the other cities (with DORA districts), they’re offering so much more in terms of where to take my family on a Friday or Saturday night,” he said. “You look at Hamilton, Middletown or Oxford in Butler County, they’re offering so much more for us to do as a family.”

Davidson said there’s a lot to offer people in Fairfield, but there’s always room for more to be offered in the future. The first-term councilman, however, said establishing an outdoor drinking district is not about having activities that revolve around alcohol. It’s just been proven that communities with these districts have seen success in such endeavors.

“More people will want to come out to do things, and come to Fairfield and hang out,” he said.

While Fairfield is Butler County’s fifth community to establish a designated outdoor refreshment area, Middletown was the first in the state after Ohio established the DORA in 2015.

The city of Hamilton has the largest in the region, and possibly the state.

Today, 52 of the state’s 88 counties have at least one community with a DORA district, and there are 106 in all of Ohio.

Franklin County, which is home to Ohio’s capital Columbus, has the most communities (11) with a DORA district and Hamilton County has the second-most with 10 communities. Stark County ranks third with six communities, and Butler County ranks fourth with its five communities.

Warren, Delaware, and Lucas counties are fifth on the list as each county has four communities with DORA districts.

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Businesses within Fairfield’s microscope-shaped district have received or will receive one of three branded decals to be posted at their establishments. A blue decal indicates they will sell outdoor refreshments provided in branded one-time-use cups. A green decal indicates they will allow DORA beverages to be brought into their establishments. A red decal indicates they won’t allow nor sell DORA beverages.

The city purchased 20,000 16-ounce and 2,000 9-ounce cups for participating establishments. The first participating businesses at the start of the Fairfield DORA include Applebee’s, Berd’s Grill & Bar, Fairfield Pub, and Richards Pizza. They can sell alcoholic beverages in authorized to-go cups from noon to midnight seven days a week.

The Fairfield Community Arts Center will also offer DORA beverages at select events.

Businesses that will allow DORA beverages inside their establishments include Om India, Flub’s, Couture Nails, and Snip Tease, according to the city.

The DORA district has been touted as an economic development tool for the city’s downtown area known as the Town Center. Sami Brandenburg, Fairfield’s Neighborhood Development manager, said the district “provides the opportunity to bring more of our residents into the Town Center for improved connection and community engagement.”

Signs and trash receptacles will be placed at the district’s termination points, and additional trash receptacles will be added to the Village Green Park.


With Fairfield’s designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA) launching on Monday, there are now five such districts in Butler County. They include:

  • Fairfield Town Center DORA
  • City of Hamilton DORA
  • Liberty Center DORA
  • Middletown DORA
  • Oxford DORA

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