Lebanon expands outdoor drinking district to match proposed entertainment area

Lebanon’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area is expanding its boundaries north on Broadway to match the proposed boundary for the Community Entertainment District.

City Council approved expanding Lebanon’s DORA district to match up with proposed boundaries of the community entertainment district that is pending state approval.

In April, council approved submitting an application to the state to create a Community Entertainment District that would include the North Broadway corridor where new development is planned or is under construction.

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If approved by the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, the new district will permit the issuance of special D-5 liquor licenses that can be used by restaurants that may locate there. City Manager Scott Brunka said the application remains pending with state officials.

Lebanon established the downtown outdoor drinking district in November 2019. The application to expand it was submitted April 30 and a public hearing was held on June 8.

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New permanent signage will be installed designating the boundaries in the expanded area.

The outdoor drinking hours will be from 6 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday; and from noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Beer and liquor must be served and consumed within the area’s boundaries in a specifically designated plastic cup.

Council will review the operation of the DORA district in five years and shall either approve continued operations or dissolve it.

As before, Councilman Doug Shope voted against the measure. In 2019, he voted against the changes out of principle and concerns the changes would send young people the message: “In order to be able to relax and enjoy yourself, there has to be alcohol involved.”

Shope said he voted against the rules, while confident the other council members had only the best intentions.

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