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New Albany residents react to potential outdoor refreshment ordinance

The New Albany City Council said customers would only be allowed to buy up to two drinks per person from an individual business.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — The New Albany City Council is considering an ordinance to create a designated outdoor refreshment area allowing customers to walk around with their drinks downtown.

It's a proposal that could let patrons take their alcoholic drinks on the go.

"Very excited that would be a great thing for downtown New Albany," resident Jill Hornung said.

It's a potential ordinance known as a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) and it would allow customers to walk around with their alcohol in a specified area.

Barbara Haas, proprietor manager at Baers City Winery, said DORA would attract more customers to her business since it's surrounded by boutiques and a concert lawn area.

"They're already buying my food so it's really going to work out well for them to come out and get the wine, the beer or wherever else they need to sit out in the park and drink," she said.

If approved, alcoholic beverages would be served in specific cups to identify patrons participating in DORA.

"I think it will be good as long as...everything is like, some precautions taken, some steps ahead of time," resident Max Orwick said.

The New Albany City Council said customers would only be allowed to buy up to two drinks per person from an individual business.

Orwick said good judgment would need to be taken.

"I don't think you will be able to monitor how much people are drinking if they are just walking around the street so I think it will be hard to do that," he said.

However, customers said this would attract more visitors, and it's an overall good investment for downtown New Albany.

"We've traveled to many other cities where that's in place and it makes it a lot more fun it really seems like it brings a lot more people to the area," Hornung said.

If the council approves the plan, Haas said you can count on her business participating in DORA.

"I'm the kind that I go around and personally say, 'hi' to everybody that I can and I've met some really, really great people," she said.

Until then she's waiting patiently for a final vote.

The ordinance will be reviewed before a third and final reading. 

It needs final approval from the New Albany City Council and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

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