Thanks to Akron’s very own, newly expanded Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), you can take your alcoholic beverages to go while you explore and enjoy downtown Akron. Read on for our tips on maximizing your DORA experience.
The Most Important Tips
Tip #1: Please drink responsibly.
Tip #2: See Tip #1.
Know the Rules
The DORA is not a lawless land. There are rules, and the rules must be followed.
To start, there are designated hours. You cannot simply embark on an impromptu DORA bar crawl any time you please. You can, however, embark on an impromptu DORA bar crawl between the hours of noon and midnight any day of the week.
There are also designated boundaries. They’re fairly expansive and run from Bartges St. in the South to Lock 15 Brewing in the North. You can see the entirety of the map here, and also keep an eye out for signs on the sidewalk that tell you where the boundaries lie.
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: You can’t take your DORA beverage into any vehicles or parking decks, unless you want to be prosecuted for breaking open container and/or impaired driving laws. Nor can you BYOB. All beverages must be purchased from participating establishments in a special cup that comes with a small $1 upcharge to cover the costs of security within the DORA.
We encourage you to take a look at our DORA webpage that has the full list of rules and frequently asked questions.
Bring Your Friends
Don’t drink alone. We promise it’s 100% more fun to walk the streets with your drink and a friend than just your drink. The DORA is also great for walking around large festivals, where you’re surrounded by lots of friends and things to do.
We encourage you to make sure you have a designated driver, or arrange for a ride at the end of the night through services such as Uber, Lyft, or of course, METRO RTA.
Speaking of an Impromptu Bar Crawl...
Let’s face it: With so many liquor establishments to choose from, it would be virtually impossible (or at least, pretty irresponsible) to go on a crawl through all of them. Let us help you by offering a suggestion for each area of downtown:
Keep it original! Barley House, The Lockview, Baxter’s Bar, and Crave were part of the inaugural DORA footprint in downtown Akron. Bonus: They all have great outdoor seating options and are surrounded by a variety of public spaces to explore with your beverages.
Maybe you’re thinking, Great, I can walk the streets with my beer, but what I really want is to walk through a comic book shop with my beer. Good news: now you can. Sort of. As you stroll through the DORA, you’ll notice that each business, shop, art gallery, and cultural venue has a decal on its front window. Some of these decals indicate where you’re able to purchase a beverage in a DORA cup. Others tell you that you either have to finish or dispose of your drink before you enter the establishment. However, you’ll also notice decals that say, “DORA beverages welcome,” which means you’re allowed to take your drink inside with you, and sip on it while you peruse.
Check Out the Public Spaces
Sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy an adult beverage with friends in the fresh, open air. That’s what the DORA is all about. And gathering in lovely outdoor places is what downtown Akron’s public spaces are all about.
Again, please drink responsibly. All State of Ohio and City of Akron laws regarding public intoxication, impaired driving, and open containers apply to areas both inside and outside of the DORA boundaries.
For a full list of bars and restaurants that serve DORA beverages, as well as a map of the DORA and frequently asked questions, click here.
If you or someone you know needs treatment or advice about addiction, visit cpsummit.org for information and resources.