By: 1808Delaware Staff
During its regular meeting on Monday night, held via the internet and broadcast on the City’s Facebook page, Delaware City Council took a step to support downtown’s eating and drinking establishments.
City Manager Tom Homan introduced the idea of an expansion of the City’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or “DORA,” by moving it from a special event base, single occurrence set-up to something which would be available each day throughout the week.
The City’s DORA authorizes licensed liquor establishments in the designated area to sell beer and wine during events that can be carried out of their establishments in specially marked cups. Guests must stay within the designated DORA boundaries, which encompass almost six square blocks of downtown.
Homan shared a memorandum received on Monday from Economic Development Director Sean Hughes with more details on the proposal.
The City’s DORA legislation actually envisioned a situation where the City might want to use it for a longer term, something which can be done if the City itself is the applicant. In the memo, Hughes stated, “As you are aware, we originally enacted our DORA to be event based. However, we built flexibility into the DORA legislation to allow the City, itself, to be the applicant if we were ever to need it for an occasion for a period of time.”
The “COVID-19 Business Recovery Event” proposal would have the following criteria:
- The term would run from May 15 to August 31 or earlier
- Hours would be Monday through Thursday 4 PM to 10 PM; and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 AM to 10 PM
- Beer/wine only
- Current DORA boundaries would be used
- Blue DORA cups would be required
Homan sought Council’s support and/or concerns for trying this approach, as no new legislation would be needed.
Discussion with Council members centered on police coverage, any possible road closures, patio seating, and maintaining curbside service.
No Council members expressed objections about, as one member shared, “giving it a shot.” The matter will now move to the Special Events Committee to file the DORA application.