Westfield to consider designated ‘refreshment area’ downtown 


The Westfield City Council is expected to vote this month on the creation of a designated outdoor district downtown where alcohol can be carried in public.

An ordinance establishing a DORA — Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area — was introduced June 10. 

A DORA is a designated area where patrons 21 and older can purchase alcoholic beverages in a marked container from participating establishments, then carry those drinks within the district. Currently, 13 municipalities in Indiana have been approved by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to establish DORAs.

“DORAs enhance opportunities for walkable downtowns and community engagement in outdoor settings and we are excited to be pursuing approval for one in our downtown area that is prime for development,” stated Mayor Scott Willis. “We know this will be a positive economic driver for our downtown restaurants.”

The proposed ordinance includes the following provisions:

  • Westfield’s downtown DORA will be in effect Jan. 1 through Dec. 31. Hours are noon until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
  • Only plastic cups with the DORA logo are permitted for use.
  • Patrons may carry out a maximum of two beverages from vendors within the DORA.
  • Beverages are only permitted within the DORA boundary, with exit signage clearly visible.
  • DORA containers must be disposed of before entering another business.

City leaders said establishing a DORA in downtown Westfield can stimulate economic activity by encouraging visitors to spend more time and money in designated areas. The city also said designating a DORA can help the Westfield Police Department manage and regulate alcohol consumption in a controlled manner.

Members of the council asked if there was liability on the city should patrons not follow the rules, such as leaving the DORA with an open container. Council President Patrick Tamm said anyone who breaks those rules could be cited with local open container laws.

“If lawful abiding citizens choose to partake in this, I don’t think there’s an issue,” Tamm said. “A lot of mayors throughout the state see this as an opportunity to bring more guests into their establishments and into their cities.”

Nine downtown businesses within the proposed DORA boundary have applied to participate. Businesses can be added to the DORA designation list by resolution of the Westfield City Council, which will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Approval from the ATC is a two-part process. 

First, the municipality must pass an ordinance, which establishes the following: A map of the area; street boundaries; location of designated retail permittees and temporary vendors within the refreshment area; a statement that the area is consistent with the municipality’s zoning ordinance; the number, spacing, and type of signage designating the refreshment area; and the dates and the hours of operation, in compliance with state statutes.

Once that ordinance is passed, the city must submit an application to the ATC, including forms from permittees and vendors, a copy of the ordinance and a map of the proposed DORA.

The ordinance will be eligible for adoption June 24.

For more, visit westfield.in.gov/DORA.