Miamisburg likely to extend outdoor drinking area’s hours, days of operation

Varying hours from day to day caused some confusion; new standard would be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, created in downtown Miamisburg in 2021 is likely to soon be open more days and hours than before.

The Miamisburg Merchant Association requested and the city’s eight-member DORA Oversight Board recommended changing hours of operation for the outdoor drinking area to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Hours of operation since the area went into effect in July 2021 are 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The recommendation follows feedback collected by committee members from downtown merchants and liquor license holders.

City Council member and DORA Oversight Board chairman Ryan Colvin said the board, which is comprised of three citizen representatives, one police officer, a Miamisburg Merchants Association member, a city council representative and two city staff members, meets to oversee any problems that arise the outdoor drinking area.

The only issue so far was last October, when a downtown business served a customer a DORA drink 30 minutes just before a council-imposed shutdown of the outdoor drinking area for an annual event, and the customer was outside with the drink later, Colvin said.

“Overwhelmingly, the consensus from the bar owners were, we would have zero problems if the hours weren’t so unusual,” said Miamisburg Mayor Michelle Collins.

Most communities that do have their own outdoor drinking area have it available all days of the week with the same set of hours each day, meaning staffers at restaurants and bars “don’t really have to think about it,” she said.

Creating more uniform hours also makes it easier for the general public to remember when they can order or walk around with a drink in the 40-acre DORA, she said.

Collins said she anticipates Miamisburg City Council will approve the DORA extension tonight during its regularly scheduled meeting. The extension likely won’t take effect until June 1, she said.

Molly Williams, owner of M & Co., a downtown Miamisburg home decor and gifts shop, said she was happy to hear that the DORA Oversight Board had recommended extending the drinking area’s hours and days of operation.

“I feel like the people that I see enjoying a beverage are not your super-hard drinkers,” Williams said. “They’re the people that are like, mom and dad and the kids and they’re out for dinner and then they’re gonna take a walk and dad’s gonna carry a beer around or mom’s gonna have a glass of wine or whatever.

“This is just a way for people to socialize and casually get out and about, and it makes them stroll Miamisburg with their beverage and explore and see what’s new.”

Candice Smith, owner of Blush, a shop that sells clothing, accessories, gifts and home goods, said extended hours and days of operation for the outdoor drinking area would be “way better” than its current state.

“Honestly, I just think it gives a little more normalcy and regulation to what’s going on so people aren’t confused,” Smith said. “I think because I’m located where I am and being in between multiple places, it ... just allows people to be able to be more free throughout the city.”

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