COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus’ first Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) is just days away from opening. After months of planning, the Arena District DORA will be operational for its first time on Saturday, according to the city’s department of development.
“I think it’s a nice enhancement for the district. Does it drive a lot of incremental sales? We’ll find out. I’m not sure. But obviously, it will drive some, we just don’t know what that number will look like yet,” said Tim Emery, owner of Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar which is in the Arena District.
City Council approved the boundaries for the Arena District DORA over the summer. Council removed parts from the first proposed map after hearing concerns from area residents. Signs listing the rules for the DORA have been posted around the Arena District for weeks. While the DORA is open, people can buy alcoholic drinks in designated cups from participating restaurants. They can then walk around with the drinks within the approved boundaries.
“It’s going to be a fun environment and especially when the Blue Jackets season starts off, we’re going to have a good time,” said Tommy Miller, an Arena District resident.
The DORA will be operational on game days for the Columbus Clippers, Columbus Crew, and Columbus Blue Jackets. It will open up three hours before game time and end at midnight. Hockey season is just around the corner. The DORA is set to be open for its first time on Saturday before the Crew game.
“Obviously, the timing would have been much better if it started in the spring but as we said there was a lot of work to do and just that wasn’t possible so just getting it started any time is great really,” said Emery.