Anticipation builds for Arena District DORA to open, but no firm date set

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Signs point to Columbus’ first Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) opening within the next few weeks in the Arena District.

There are new black and gold signs posted around the Arena District, outlining the rules of the DORA and let people know when they are entering or leaving the boundaries of the DORA.

“The anticipation is cool, knowing that they’re doing that because in Hilliard, in Dublin, it’s really nice having that,” said Jim Marsh who’s been coming to Arena District for 20 years.

Columbus City Council approved the boundaries of the DORA from Nationwide Arena to Lower.com Field in late July. It also got the necessary approval from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control over the summer.

The DORA is expected to open by the end of September, according to the city’s Department of Development.

“It’s exciting because it means it’s finally happening because I feel like we’ve been hearing about it for quite a while, so hopefully, fingers crossed, it actually happens,” said resident Teresa Riggs.

Once officially in operation, the DORA will be open three hours before Columbus Clippers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Columbus Crew home games. It’ll close at midnight on those days.

The DORA will allow people to walk around with drinks from participating bars within its boundaries as long as patrons are using designated DORA cups.

Some of the new signs are right outside R-Bar.

“I think it’ll be exciting,” said R-Bar owner Michael Darr. “I think it’s something downtown Columbus can use, and it’ll help the bars out on overcrowding issues we’ve always had. And with COVID and all that, it’ll still give the opportunities for the patrons to have a good time down here, but not have to pack into the bar.”

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