Village on Adams Receives Permission to Establish City's First Outdoor Refreshment Area

From Downtown Toledo:

Toledo City Council has approved, by a vote of 9 to 1, the establishment of an Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA) along Adams Street in the UpTown area of Downtown Toledo. The district will run between 11th and 21st Streets.

According to the plan, presented by The Village on Adams organization, the ORA will operate Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 1:00 a.m. On holidays and special events the hours will be noon to 1:00 a.m. An “official cup” will be available for purchase for $1.00 at the district’s five establishments. Only the official cup, and alcohol purchased at the five establishments, will be legal for use in outdoor locations in the district. No other containers containing alcohol, such as glass, will be permitted.

The Village on Adams’ outdoor refreshment area would be designated by signage, and the organization is providing security and sanitation services in the area in cooperation with the City of Toledo. The ORA is planned to begin in the spring of 2016.

The establishment of the ORA is possible as a result of State of Ohio legislation, enacted in April 2015, which allows cities to establish designated areas for people to carry open containers and drink alcohol in public. In cities with populations over 50,000, two districts may be established. An additional district is under consideration within downtown’s Central Business District and the Warehouse District. Middletown, Ohio, approved its ORA in November and is the first city within Ohio to have an outdoor district.

ORAs are generally seen as having a positive influence on attracting talent to a city. They’re also a key tool in developing additional entertainment options within a specified area. Several cities, such as Savannah, Ga., and Erie, Pa., have had successful ORAs for many years. Other states and cities are also considering enabling legislation currently.