GAMBIER — A DORA could enter the village of Gambier after council members showed interest at Monday night’s meeting.
Due to the interest, Experience Mount Vernon’s Lacey Filkins answered council members’ questions at the meeting, noting what a DORA (designated outdoor refreshment area) can and can’t do, what businesses can serve a DORA beverage and when it’s permissible.
Filkins doesn’t call herself a “DORA expert” but says she’s generally familiar with the subject.
Council member Alison Furlong asked Filkins about ticketed DORA events and if that’s local policy.
“We (Mount Vernon’s DORA) have an event-based DORA that is not ticketed. What it means is that DORA hours are only during specific approved events and there is a committee that operates as a subcommittee from my board,” Filkins said.
The only entities that can sell DORA beverages, whether it’s event-based or whether it’s routine, are permanent liquor license holders within certain parameters, Filkins said.
“If you have a beer truck, they have to get a temporary liquor license for whatever area they’re in and they would have to coordinate that and they can only take their beverages with that temporary liquor license.”
Kenyon College is one entity interested in having a DORA in Gambier, Furlong said.
“One of the main reasons for wanting it is for things like reunion weekend,” Furlong noted.
Since Kenyon College does have a liquor license, it would be eligible to have DORA cups and sell DORA beverages.
When councilmember Kaitlin Sockman asked if the Village Inn would be able to sell its beers on the street from a table, Filkins said no because its liquor license is only within its building.
Time limits are another factor of operating a DORA, for example since Mount Vernon’s is event-based, the city’s DORA time frame ends when the event ends.
“For example, for First Fridays, it’s not going beyond 9 p.m. when First Fridays end, DORA ends,” Filkins said.
This isn’t the first time the village has thought about implementing a DORA, Village Administrator R.C. Wise said. A couple of years ago for a DORA to be allowed in a municipality of Gambier’s size it needed four liquor license holders, which Gambier didn’t have.
“They’ve since changed the regulations and you don’t need four,” Wise said. “I think you only need two, but we have more than two.”
Wise also saw interest stemming from the college, wondering if the village was going to implement a DORA in Gambier.
“It’s hard for me to say where our council is, but I think they’re curious enough to know that if we want to do it, how would we do it? Can we benchmark what Mount Vernon has done?”