More alcohol options, entertainment districts could be coming to Hamilton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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The Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, is Hamilton??€™s latest economic development tool.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

City officials are planning to create two new entertainment districts in connection with the proposed Spooky Nook at Champion Mill gigantic indoor sports complex.

The goal of the districts — one on the West Side along Main Street; the other east of the Great Miami River, taking in downtown and the German Village neighborhood — is to allow for more liquor licenses for businesses expected to open in those areas.

Creation of the two districts not only will allow businesses in those areas to have liquor licenses, but also will make it easier for businesses in other areas of the city, such as Lindenwald, to obtain other licenses. Hamilton has nearly reached its state limit for such licenses, and the new district may avail the city to about 15 more per district.

The city’s Ordinance Review Commission on Wednesday gave its approval to legislation creating the districts, and moving it forward to Hamilton City Council. Under state law, such districts can be created when a development has more than $50 million of investment and the district is at least 20 acres.

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Because the Spooky Nook project is worth about $150 million, the city plans to create two districts: The first is Spooky Nook’s Mill II, the Champion building between North B Street and the river, plus downtown areas east of the river. The other is Spooky Nook’s Mill I encompassing the Main Street area.

Doug Campbell, owner of CODA Enterprises LLC (Fleurish Home) at 135 and 137 Main St., applied for the Main Street-based district. Requesting the district that’s mostly east of the river was Dave Jursik, acting manager on behalf of 312 N. Second LLC, 241 High LLC, Historic Developers LLC, Historic Journal News LLC and Historic Robinson Schwenn LLC.

Mallory Greenham, the city’s small business development specialist, told the commission Hamilton has only one available D5 license, which allows the sale of liquor for consumption on the premises, or sale of beer, wine and mixed beverages in sealed containers for consumption on or off the property.

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“In most communities, they are actually out of liquor licenses,” Greenham said.

Licenses are used not only by bars and restaurants, but also by stores and small carry-out locations.

Rather than normal D5 licenses, the ones created through the two districts will be D5-J, which are allowed within community entertainment districts.

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