CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – An application to create an Entertainment District in Uptown Centerville was approved, and now the city and community are ready for new businesses to open.
The Entertainment District designation from the Ohio Department of Commerce opens up 15 new liquor permits for Uptown Centerville.
It’s part of the city’s Concept Master Plan for Uptown, which will bring more than $30 million in public and private investments into the Uptown area.
“We had a problem that we wanted to incentivize new investment from restaurants, eateries and bars, that there were no permits available for them, so obviously by creating this district and creating the new 15 permits, that eliminates a huge barrier for restaurants that want to be part of what we’re building,” City of Centerville Development Director Mike Norton-Smith said.
The city is hoping to transform Uptown into a destination that people want to visit.
“I think this can’t do anything but help this area,” Jim Thorson from Springboro said.
The permits will invite new bars, restaurants and businesses to open in Centerville.
Already established businesses like City Barbecue hope it will draw new customers to their restaurant too.
“It’s definitely going to bring me more into this area more often, I think it’s going to create more foot traffic, and I think that it’s going to grow the community as a whole,” Centerville City Barbeque Shift Manager Kyle Haas said.
Some of those who frequent Uptown Centerville are already excited for the plans and the potential the Entertainment District could have.
“We do like to go out and have a bite to eat, we like to stay local,” Amy Thornson from Springboro said. “We try to stay in this general area, love the idea.”
“It’s really nice out here, you know, having ice cream at Graeter’s outside is really nice, so I think more ideas like that is really good,” Lucy Thorson from Springboro said.
“I would like restaurants that offer good food and not so many quick pick-up places, but just where you can really sit down and enjoy your meal,” Carol Chudde from Washington Township said.
Salar in the Oregon District announced earlier this year plans to open a location a second location in Uptown Centerville. This is the first business to announce that they will be part of the district.
The city also plans to make parking and streetscape enhancements beginning in 2022 until 2028.