by Sylvania AdVantage Staff

21 and Over only!

As of May 1, people 21 and older can enjoy adult beverages on Main Street in downtown Sylvania from Monroe Street north to Haymarket Square thanks to Sylvania DORA or Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area. DORA legislation was passed unanimously at the April 15 Sylvania City Council meeting.
According to Sylvania City Council member Mark Luetke, this unanimous vote was the result of a citizen-created process initiated last summer by members of DSA, the Downtown Sylvania Association.
City councilman Mark Frye and his safety committee members were asked to initiate the process to explore the concept and they sought initial input and information from members of council and the administration.
“City council President Mary Westphal very wisely appointed several stakeholders to an ad-hoc DORA steering committee. Business owners Jane Wurth of Ragazza and Katie Fields of Inside the Five, Erie Street residents Jason Kusma and Mary Beth Schoen and Patrick Richardson and me from city council,” said Luetke. “Scott Hudson of Hudson Gallery and Nick Dallas of Upside Brewing Co. and J&G Pizza Palace joined our committee, offering valuable input as well. We met several times during the winter months developing the footprint and establishing the hours for DORA, which we took to city council as a whole earlier this spring.”

He continued, “Public hearings were held during the process. City council members listened to this citizen input and hours and boundaries were refined. It was also during this process that council member Katie Cappellini suggested the parklets, or seating areas in strategic locations along Main Street, which Mary Beth pursued.”
“I feel everyone involved deserves a lot of credit for the insightful way this has all come together. This will be a great enhancement for downtown Sylvania,” Luetke added.
Prior to the April 15 vote, the safety committee looked to modify the boundaries and hours of operation for the DORA after receiving substantial administration, council and community input.
“DORA provides people an opportunity to enjoy a beverage outdoors in downtown Sylvania. Based upon the interest in the DORA from the people, businesses and establishments that will be enjoying it, I look forward to watching the benefits for the community unfold,” Frye noted.
Sylvania Law Director Leslie Brinning and Economic Director Bill Sanford were also very involved throughout the process. They researched the legal aspects and ramifications of the DORA in other cities that have successfully initiated the process, particularly in communities similar to Sylvania such as Worthington, Ohio. Brinning authored the legislation passed by city council.
Six downtown Sylvania businesses, Executive Diner on the Main, Chandler Café, J&G Pizza Palace and Upside Brewing, Inside the Five Brewing, Element 112 and the Sodbuster Bar are authorized to sell designated plastic DORA cups to patrons to be used in public right-of-ways.
With the amount of waste that can accumulate from the DORA plastic cups, the Downtown Sylvania Association opted for a more environmentally friendly 16-ounce compostable plastic cup made from vegetables. The DSA is working with the city of Sylvania
to establish compost bins for DORA cups
only, and the cups will be taken to the
city’s composting facility. “Look for
the shiny red compost bins on Main Street,” said Main Street Manager Rae Betz.
“Patrons must remain outdoors within the DORA boundaries, which are designated by signs. Patrons cannot carry cups into another business location, and the DORA footprint
does not include parks or parking lots,” Betz added. Beer, wine, and liquor are all allowable drinks in DORA cups and it must be purchased from a participating business. No cans, glass bottles, or outside drinks are permitted within the boundaries.
“The DORA will be a great attraction to the downtown Sylvania area. DORA will allow people to enjoy nice days outdoors together with any beverage of their choice. New public gathering spaces that are being planned will complement the DORA and give Upside Brewing and other businesses a place for their customers to go to enjoy a craft beer or two, wait for a table, grab a coffee or have a cup of wine with their take-out pizza,” noted Nick Dallas of Upside Brewing.
“We look forward to DORA in Sylvania and the opportunity to serve our community and to continue working to make the downtown area a wonderful meeting place and entertainment venue,” offered Gail Stansley, Chandler Café co-owner.
Matt Smith of The Sodbuster Bar agrees. “I think DORA will be good for all of downtown Sylvania and the Sylvania businesses.”
“‘We are excited to have DORA in downtown Sylvania. It will enhance the many outdoor events, allow people to enjoy
the nice weather, and keep people in downtown longer,” Inside the Five co-owner Katie Fields stated.