Out on 5th, DORA, and pop-up patios to stay even after COVID restrictions lift

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- Pop -up patios, the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) and the weekly Out on 5th event started as temporary solutions to help restaurants in Downtown Dayton bounce back from pandemic losses.

Now, leaders with the Oregon District Business Association say they’re here to stay even once pandemic restrictions are gone.

Natalie Skilliter, President of the Oregon District Business Association says the DORA hours will be daily from noon to midnight after June 2. Pop-up patios are permitted to stay up through the end of the year by authority of the Ohio State Liquor Board. Right now the Oregon District Business Association is working to make Out on 5th a weekly event in Spring, Summer, and Fall going forward.

Skilliter says that Out on 5th was a project that was in the works for years but met some resistance. During the pandemic, it was more widely accepted as restaurants and businesses lost money while shutdown.

“Now that we’re doing [Out on 5th] we’re seeing some people who were completely against it now like ‘ I want this every day,'” said Skilliter.

Some business owners in the Oregon District say they are anxious to see how business will change now that the status quo has shifted yet again

“We’ve had the most business we had in a while but we are an empty bar. We’re serving people and they’re heading out to the street…So I’m interested to see how this is going to go,” said Tyler Gilcher, a partner and bar manager at Toxic Brew Company.

But Gilcher says he expects to keep collaborating with the event organizers and city leaders to continue to bring business downtown even after restrictions are gone.

“We’ve all been working together and making sure that we do this as organized and as good as we can,” he said.

For more information on Out on 5th click here.

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