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Massillons' city council approves plan to allow people to walk outdoors with an alcoholic beverage

 Patrons sit at patio tables on East 4th Street in Downtown Cleveland.
Jon Nungesser
Ideastream Public Media
Massillon joins Cleveland and Akron which have both created designated outdoor refreshment areas, or DORAs, that allow customers to walk along the street with open alcoholic beverages. Cleveland announced in June it would allow Downtown bar-goers to carry their drinks outside along East 4th Street.

On Monday, Massillon City Council approved a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area in the city's Downtown, which will allow people to walk outdoors with alcoholic beverages during particular hours within the area's boundaries.

The city hopes the DORA will further economic and social growth and development within the community and turn Massillon into a destination for entertainment.

“With COVID and Downtown businesses now looking to expand more outdoors, we felt that it was something to give people an option to... come in and enjoy Downtown and more options with regards to their ability to take a drink from one destination to another,” said David Maley, Massillon's economic development director.

Discussions regarding a DORA within the city have been going on for about six months,
he said. Maley believes the issue was raised after the recent completion of renovations to their amphitheater.

“If [people] want to take an opportunity to come Downtown and purchase a beverage at one of the local establishments that are within the DORA, they can walk over to listen to the band or, you know, they have car shows, all this stuff going on,” Maley said.

The DORA hours will be Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

“I would anticipate probably around the first of the year, we'd probably have everything ready to go,” Maley said.

Maley can’t give an official set start date because the city is now awaiting state approval and has to prepare signage, cups and other items for businesses. With colder weather ahead, Maley said it’s not vital for DORA to go into effect yet.

The Massillon DORA will include 17 establishments located over 36.7 acres.

Emma MacNiven is a senior journalism student at Kent State University.