Bryan to pause DORA for Bryan Jubilee
The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area has been in the city on a trial period since January 2021
BRYAN, Ohio (WTVG) - Back on January 1, 2021, the City of Bryan gave the ‘green light’ to several downtown bars and restaurants to be part of a new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or “DORA.” Now city leaders are stopping the taps for one of its biggest events of the year.
Both the city’s mayor and executive director of the Bryan Chamber of Commerce tell 13abc the DORA is off to a slow start. They attribute a combination of the weather -- plus COVID-19 restrictions -- for the lack of participation so far.
“I don’t think people will start to use it until the weather clears up a little bit more,” says Dan Yahraus with the chamber. He says the important part now is making sure establishments and patrons are educated on how the DORA works.
“To date, we have had no issues with law enforcement on the DORA, or our street collection for garbage,” adds Mayor Carrie Schlade. “We have had no issues with littering at this point. We’re just going to hope to continue momentum of that and positivity stays within the community.”
Yahrus mentioned some of the good feedback the DORA has received so far. “I think my most interesting comment was a lady that called me and said ‘I’m glad you’re doing the DORA. Even though my husband and I don’t drink, it will keep people in Bryan.’ And that was the goal, we want people to come to Bryan, and enjoy themselves while they’re here.”
Working through the new DORA comes was the city is preparing to bring back one of its biggest historic festivals this summer: Bryan Jubilee. The three-day event is happening in the town square from June 17-19. The carnival-style event will have rides, booths, and even a parade. By bringing the event back, the city had to make some sacrifices for added COVID-19 safety and making it inclusive for all families. That includes putting the DORA on hold.
“I would’ve love to have tried it, but we don’t know what DORA’s gonna bring, before that and after that,” says Yarhaus. “So I think it’s a good opportunity to say ‘let’s just not have it during this 3-day time period.’ And if everything works out great this year, maybe next year we can have the DORA in place.”
13abc spoke with some of the bars and restaurants that are part of the DORA, to find out how they’re taking the news. The owners of Kora Brew House and Wine Bar say they’re very understanding of the city’s decision.
“I don’t anticipate that it’s going to make things unfriendly for families, but again, it’s new,” states Kevin Maynard, owner of Kora’s. “People are trying to ease into it, and figure out what it really means. Because we’ve never had it here in Bryan.”
Resources about Bryan’s DORA:
--Streets surround the courthouse: W. High St., S. Lynn St., W. Butler St., S. Main St. and S. Walnut St.
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