Open Container Laws Ditched in Cincinnati's The Banks Entertainment District

The trend toward the liberalization of outdoor drinking laws continues in Cincinnati. The turned is prevalent enough that this isn't even the first example of a "designated outdoor refreshment area" on the Ohio River.

December 23, 2020, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Cincinnati Suspension Bridge

Rosamar / Shutterstock

Mariel Carbone reports that the city of Cincinnati is moving forward with a plan to create an open container entertainment district and open street in The Banks, a mixed-use project still taking shop near the Great American Ballpark on the Ohio River.

A 500-foot stretch of Freedom Way between Joe Nuxhall Way and Walnut Street would be closed to all vehicle traffic, according to Carbone, to create pedestrian plaza for restaurant and bar patrons to walk with designated cup in hand.

The idea for the designated outdoor refreshment area, or DORA for short, is compared to Beale Street in Memphis in the article, but cities around the country have been relaxing open container laws in outdoor entertainment districts since before the pandemic upended conceptions of public space. Nearby Bellevue, Kentucky adopted its own version of a DORA in November 2019, for example, in addition to Covington, Kentucky.

Briana Rice provides additional news coverage of Cincinnati's plans to allow outdoor drinking in The Banks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 in WCPO

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