Mark Twain once wrote, “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always 20 years behind the times.” This is not true for my beloved hometown just a few miles north of there. The City of Hamilton, Ohio has become a modern playground for children and adults alike. There is a cornucopia of live
entertainment and new restaurants opening every few weeks. All of this combined with the erection of the Marcum Apartments and its accompanying retail space below is going to make the 2018 summer in Hamilton one to remember. Now we have the icing on our cake: D.O.R.A.

DORA is Hamilton’s newly implemented Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area program. DORA allow for consumption of alcoholic beverages by adults 21 and over while outdoors within DORA boundaries. The DORA boundary is approximately 195 acres that include the Central Business District, German Village, and Main Street Business District. Black and white signs will mark the parameters where patrons can walk. (see map)

There are rules that DORA patrons must follow:
 Your to-go alcoholic beverage must be in the Official DORA Cup that specifies the name of the business before you leave the participating establishment.

 You cannot take an alcoholic beverage purchased at one liquor-serving establishment into another liquor establishment.

 You can take a purchased alcoholic drink into a non-liquor serving establishment if the owner allows. Every business that does not sell alcohol has the right to decide if they will allow patrons to bring in DORA beverages.

 You cannot bring your own alcoholic beverage into the district.
The businesses currently selling DORA beverages include

Municipal Brew Works; Basil 1791, Plaza One Grill, Quarter Barrel Brewery & Pub, Richard’s Pizza, Neal’s BBQ and North Second Tap & Bottle Shop. Fitton Center for Creative Arts and Monkey’s Mutual Aid Society will participate as well during special events.

Downtown businesses are seeing increased foot traffic due to fluid nature of the DORA program. Visitors are free to roam. If you haven’t tried it then I would suggest that you head to downtown Hamilton and become a DORA explorer.

About the author

Terrance Huff is an award-winning filmmaker who lives, works and plays in Hamilton, Ohio.