Sylvania council eyes Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area

SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - The streets of downtown Sylvania are cold and quiet; a typical scene for a mid-February Monday. But city leaders and local businesses are working to give people a reason to get back outside.

"People love to be outside and people love to enjoy one of our great local breweries and all of that comes together and it will be a great place for a DORA," Patrick Richardson, Sylvania city councilman, said.

Richardson is talking about a proposal for a Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA. Much like what's in place in downtown and uptown Toledo, this would allow people to enjoy an adult beverage outside and from business to business. In this case, it includes a four-block area from Monroe to Erie to Summit to the railroad tracks.

"When I've gone down to Hensville, that same situation is available," Gail Masse, of Temperance, said. "It's fun and people are really enjoying each other."

"This is another opportunity to really socialize and get to know each other in a different way," Mary Tober, of Sylvania said.

The proposal is not a done deal. But some say the decision should be a no-brainer, like the owners of Inside the Five Brewing.

"We're all for it. We think it would be a great asset to the community," Katie Fields, owner, Inside the Five Brewing, said.

She also points out that a DORA would be a compliment to events like the Maple and Main Art Fair and the Fall Festival, not to mention the affect it could have on business.

"I think more people will walk around and see some of the great local businesses we have in downtown Sylvania," Fields said.

If you ask anyone involved, that's the ultimate goal: to get more people to Sylvania.

"We hope that it brings more people here to live and to play and to shop and eat and drink here," Richardson said. "It's a great place already and this is just the cherry on top."