Hamilton outdoor refreshment area emblematic of city's growth

HAMILTON, Ohio -- Cheers!

The City of Hamilton kicked off its outdoor refreshment program Thursday. From noon to midnight each day, anyone who is of age can now carry alcohol as they walk and visit shops along Main Street, German Village and the Central Business District.

To participate, one just needs the official cup.

"It's just one more thing to do in Hamilton, adding to our quality of life," city communications specialist Jacob Stone said.

Hamilton's DORA area (Photo by City of Hamilton)

The idea has been in the works for months. It recently received final approval from the city council.

"We had a lot of discussion about it, a lot of public hearings," Councilmember Carla Fiehrer said. "We asked a lot of people to tell us anything that could go wrong so that we could have an answer for it, and it's just so exciting that this is just another part that we're bringing downtown."

Downtown businesses like Basil 1791 that are taking part in the program are hoping it'll bring in more customers.

"It's not just getting Hamilton folks here, but Mason, West Chester and Cincinnati," Basil 1791 manager Monica Hite said. "So it'll just be a draw for the community."

Participating businesses will have stickers posted outside. For a dollar, one can buy the special cup that allows them to carry alcohol in the designated area. 

There will still be some limits for special events due to state alcohol regulations, according to director of planning Liz Hayden.

"When you are going to an event that sells alcohol like our Rivers Edge concert series, you can;t bring your DORA cup into the event, and you can't bring your event alcohol into the community," she said.

That also means one can't take the DORA cup from one business into another that also sells DORA alcohol. But there are plans to expand the reach of the program moving forward.

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