In 2021, as part of a trial run, people in town were able to move within the area with an adult beverage in hand.
PERRYSBURG, Ohio — The RiverFront Candle Co. in downtown Perrysburg sits smack-dab in the middle of the town’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA.)
“Folks can come in and create their own candles. They come up with a recipe. They sit at the bar, they blend, pour it into their wax. They wait 90 minutes,” Olzak said. “So, most of the time, that’s when people are going with their drink and they can walk around, window shop, go onto another store. They can go to a restaurant and then they come back after 90 minutes and pick up their candles.”
The candle company’s owner, Julie Olzka, said it was the perfect mix.
Directly across from the shop, the owner of Zingo’s Restaurant is another fan of DORA.
So even though her shop doesn’t sell drinks, Olzka said that DORA benefits the business community by sharing customers, in a sense.
While she did not want to go on camera to speak about the expansion, she recalled a group of women coming over to grab drinks and then heading back to the candle shop with beverages in hand. The idea of expanding Perrysburg’s DORA just makes sense, she said.
“It’s a positive,” Olzak said. “Yeah, it’s been great for us and we’re hoping that whoever it goes on to include it works the same way.”
The Sentinel Tribune reports that at Perrysburg’s December city council meeting, it had been suggested that DORA’s perimeter be expanded into a rectangle to help clarify where the DORA’s limits were for patrons. Officers noted it would be easier to enforce if the perimeter was more rectangular in nature. Yet, at this point, there was no official proposal made at the meeting.
Overall, Olzak said she doesn’t see an issue “Whether it’s down the street [or] a block away, within that band we have around us, they can grab a drink,” she said. “They can walk down, they can sit in the store. They can enjoy the experience and then they can walk back out with their drink.”
Now, not all of the businesses WTOL 11 spoke with were on board with the idea of expanding DORA. One owner, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the idea of an expansion could put DORA’s lines in residential areas and too close to a nearby church.
MORE FROM WTOL 11:
More conversation about the expansion is anticipated to happen in 2022. That just didn’t seem like a good idea to the business owner, who preferred to keep DORA’s lines as they are.