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Newport now has more options for outdoor dining. A DORA district could be next

Sarah Ramsey
Outdoor dining along the Main St. Corridor has been allowed since the 1990s in Newport. It's expanding to residential neighborhoods.

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.

RELATED: Council approves DORAs in College Hill and Hyde Park, extends hours for Westwood

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.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.