Hamilton’s outdoor-drinking program launches this week

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Hamilton??€™s Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area allows adults to stroll specific areas with alcohol in hand.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Just in time for Thursday night’s Alive After 5 event, Hamilton will launch its Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area program, in which people will be able to stroll the downtown and Main Street areas with adult beverages that are bought from participating establishments.

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Alive After 5 runs from 5 to 9 p.m. in the city’s central business district. The DORA program, however, will run noon to midnight every day of the week, beginning Thursday, May 3.

The city has worked several months to create the program, in which people will buy drinks that are poured into official DORA cups that list the bar or restaurant from which they were purchased. Some stores, like Main Street Vinyl, already have decals on their front doors telling people whether DORA drinkers are welcome.

Main Street Vinyl’s front door bears a decal that says, “DORA Beverages Welcome.” Other decals say, “Please No DORA Beverages,” or for businesses that sell adult drinks, “DORA Sold Here.”

“I hope it brings a little more business to Main and High Streets,” said Bill Herren, who owns the record store with his sons. “Maybe bring some people in to our store who see we let people in with a beer in their hand.”

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He was a bit uncomfortable with the idea of the program when he first heard about it.

“I thought you’d be having people running up and down, stumbling around, but you know, that’s the type that’s going to be doing it anyway,” he said.

But the more he read about it, the more comfortable he felt.

“I think anything that helps businesses out, that brings more people to downtown and hopefully here to Main Street, I think that’s a big plus for the city, not just a certain store,” he said.

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Specially-printed DORA cups will cost $1 at most businesses. Participants must remain within designated drinking areas, which are marked by signs, in the downtown, Main Street and German Village areas.

Some of the establishments that are participating include: Municipal Brew Works; Basil 1791; Plaza One Grille; Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub; and Richard’s Pizza.

Pending establishments include Neal’s BBQ and North Second Tap & Bottle Shop. Two other organizations, Fitton Center for Creative Arts and Monkey’s Mutual Aid Society, will sometimes participate during special events that will be posted.