Mar 2, 2022 - Things to Do

Mapping central Ohio's outdoor drinking zones

DORAs in Columbus area
Note: New Albany's DORA is opening soon. Data: DORA website of each city; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

It's a common sight in the Old Hilliard neighborhood: Folks walking through downtown, sipping a High Stepper from Crooked Can Brewing Co. and people-watching at the Station Park fountains.

  • This is made possible by Hilliard's Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), a summertime program the city has now expanded to year round.

State of play: It's been five years since all Ohio cities received authority to set up open container districts. Most local communities have taken advantage.

  • Eleven area cities have established DORAs — including the latest, New Albany — and they feature more than 100 vendors.

How it works: Breweries and restaurants sell beverages in specially marked plastic cups, which can be consumed anywhere within designated boundaries.

Zoom in: Each community selects its own map and hours, giving every DORA some local flavor.

  • Gahanna's is known as CORA (Creekside Outdoor Refreshment Area), featuring a handful of businesses near the scenic Walnut Creek.
  • Dublin has two on each side of the Scioto River, in Historic Dublin and the newer Bridge Park development, and will offer extended hours during upcoming St. Patrick's Day festivities.

The Columbus area's DORA zones (open year round unless noted otherwise):

  • Arena District: Only available during home games for the Blue Jackets, Clippers and Crew, and select special events. Three hours before game time through midnight.
  • Bexley: Monday-Friday, 4-10pm.; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-10pm.
  • Dublin: Every day, times vary.
  • Gahanna: Monday-Wednesday, 3-11pm; Thursday-Sunday, 11am-11pm.
  • Grove City: Monday-Saturday, 2pm-midnight.
  • Hilliard: Every day, noon-9pm.
  • New Albany: Launching this spring. Expected hours: Thursday-Saturday, 5-10pm.
  • Powell: Thursday-Sunday, 11am-10pm.
  • Westerville: Thursdays and Friday, 5-10pm; Saturdays, noon-10pm.
  • Whitehall: March 1-Oct. 31. Thursday-Friday, 4-10pm; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-10pm.
  • Worthington: Every day, 11am-10pm.

💭 Alissa's thought bubble: If you're in the mood to explore, Uptown Westerville packs a lot into a few blocks, including a winery, classic diner and my favorite coffee roasters.

  • I'm adding Bexley to my list of places to check out. A Moshi Sushi Lost Treasure roll and a cocktail to go sounds delicious.
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