Exploring the DORA

A Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area in the downtown is just that, a designated public area where alcoholic beverages can legally be consumed. In Delaware’s case, this will allow for the consumption of beer and wine (no spirituous liquor) during special events only. Event organizers can request that the event be a DORA event.

What a DORA allows

Licensed liquor establishments in the designated area may sell beer and wine during the event that can be
carried out of their establishments in specially marked cups.

DORA boundaries

Sandusky Street, from Spring Street to Central Avenue, and on William and Winter streets, from Franklin
Street to Union Street.

Click image to enlarge

For event organizers

You are required to notify downtown business and property owners if your special event is to
have a DORA included.

For licensed liquor establishments

Participation in a DORA event is optional. If you participate:

  • You have all of the same liabilities and responsibilities that you normally would have. Control, rights and responsibility of your establishment remain intact. If you chose not to have alcohol brought into your business, you may post a sign stating that. This is no different than a sign prohibiting food and drink or proper attire.
  • Specially marked cups must be used; a standard blue plastic cup (American Party Cup), not to exceed 16 oz.
    Printed stickers (no less than 1″ x 1.75″) must be placed on two sides of the cup with the name of your establishment.
    Cups leaving establishments can contain only wine or beer

For visitors

Only special events requiring a permit from the City can have a DORA component. Event organizers, not the City, determine if an event will be planned as a DORA event.

Participation in the DORA program is optional to liquor establishments so do not expect that every establishment will be selling DORA alcohol. Merchants maintain the same control, rights and responsibility of their establishment. They may choose not to have alcohol brought into their business.  All visitors are required to abide by the merchant’s policy.

More information

Phone 740-203-1010 or email

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