Miamisburg will become the latest Miami Valley city to add a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), after a vote by city council Tuesday evening.
Council voted 5-2 in favor of a DORA four days per week: The DORA will be held Thursdays from 4-9pm, Fridays from 4-11pm, Saturdays from 12-11pm, and Sundays from 4-9pm.
The city has not yet determined a start date for the DORA.
The DORA will encompass parts of downtown Miamisburg, including the Main Street corridor and brewery district.
Miami Valley cities have increasingly used DORAs in recent months, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way for businesses to serve more customers in an outdoor setting – notably, Dayton, which designated an outdoor open container area in late summer and fall 2020, and again this spring in the Oregon District.
“It’s just a great atmosphere,” said Molly Williams, owner of M&CO., a boutique along Main Street in downtown Miamisburg. Williams believes a DORA will bring more foot traffic into downtown businesses – and not just those serving alcohol.
“As merchants we like to share traffic and share customers with each other,” she said. “So if you go to (T.J.) Chumps and you have to wait 45 minutes for a table, you might take a stroll down the street and come and visit m and company or go to the candy store.”
Not everyone supported the decision.
According to Miamisburg city council minutes from its most recent April meeting, one citizen presented a petition with dozens of signatures in opposition to the DORA.
Laura Baguette, who lives in West Carrollton, but frequents downtown Miamisburg, told News Center 7′s Sean Cudahy Tuesday, she understood the potential benefit for business, but had concerns.
“I just wouldn’t want to encourage people to drink too much, and drive,” she said.
The city’s previous proposal for the DORA included a seven-day-per-week model, but council ultimately decided to limit the DORA to Thursdays through Sundays.
Williams believes this was a beneficial step for the city to take.
“We are very family oriented,” she said. “But we also want to attract younger people who are out on a date – who go, ‘Oh let’s go in here – because it’s a cute little place.’ So I think it just makes it more casual and more friendly to say, ‘Come on in with that drink.’”