Whitehall City Council expected to vote May 4 on Norton Crossing DORA

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Mark Boggs has lunch April 14 at the Old Bag of Nails Pub, which would be among the businesses that could sell alcohol in the proposed DORA area in Whitehall. City officials have proposed establishing the DORA in the Norton Crossing area from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays – and for special events – between March 1 and Oct. 31.

In an effort to make the Norton Crossing area a bigger attraction, the city of Whitehall may establish a designated outdoor refreshment area for a section of the mixed-use development at the southwest corner of Broad Street and Hamilton Road. 

Under terms of the DORA, the city would allow anyone age 21 and older to buy an alcoholic beverage that would be served in a special cup denoting that the drink is intended for consumption within the DORA boundaries. 

City Council is expected to vote on DORA legislation May 4. Until then, Jenna Goehring, Whitehall’s economic development manager, said the public is encouraged to comment on the proposal at whitehall-oh.us

If council approves, the city will then send a DORA permit request to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control. City officials hope to have the first refreshment-area event June 1, she said. 

Goehring presented information about a possible DORA to City Council on April 12. 

“We’ve been considering this as further support to the businesses and to continue the amenity growth in that area,” she said. 

Under the proposal, the DORA boundaries at Norton Crossing would include a new park that will be dedicated May 1 as well as Old Bag of Nails Pub, 2 Tones Brewing Co., Holiday Lanes and Bella Donna Party House. The northeast corner of the Broad and Hamilton intersection also is included in the DORA boundaries but development in that particular area will take at least two years, Goehring said. 

Hours for the DORA would be from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays – and for special events – between March 1 and Oct. 31. 

Special events such as Market on the Green, Whitehall’s new farmers market, and Movies on the Green, would be included, she said. 

Police presence might be increased but not on a regular basis, Goehring said. 

“We believe that just normal patrolling would be fine for the DORA’s set hours,” she said. “But we would probably have more police per the DORA special events as needed.” 

Mark Boggs, who was having lunch April 14 at the Old Bag of Nails Pub, said he likes the idea of a DORA if consumers were kept from wandering outside of the designated area. 

Boggs, 55, said he enjoys the DORA at the Banks in Cincinnati, where adults can consume beverages between Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ballpark, and beyond. 

“It’s not bad,” he said. “You can wander around between the two. When it’s warm outside, it’s kind of nice.” 

gseman@thisweeknews.com 

@ThisWeekGary