Newport now has more options for outdoor dining. A DORA district could be next
You can now dine outside at restaurants in Newport residential neighborhoods. Restrictions have been lifted that put some bars and restaurants at a competitive disadvantage.
The City Commission approved an ordinance allowing the change. Sidewalk dining has existed in the Main St. Corridor since the late 1990s, says Assistant City Manager John Haden. “As more and more businesses have popped up, we’ve had requests for that to expand out into some of the residential neighborhoods.”
There are some restrictions:
- Owners must apply for an outdoor seating permit.
- Businesses have to address concerns from residents within a 75-foot radius.
- All who apply will be subject to an annual review.
The ordinance stipulates bars and restaurants close at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They can be extended until midnight if neighbors agree.
Hayden says the city is considering other measures to increase walkability and encourage people to be outside. “We’re looking at doing ... a DORA.”
DORA stands for designated outdoor refreshment area.