Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA)


What is a DORA?

A Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) allows patrons 21-years and older to purchase alcoholic beverages from approved businesses within the DORA and carry them outside to be consumed within the DORA’s boundaries. Beverages may be taken around the designated DORA, either while relaxing outdoors, enjoying one of the many downtown events or while shopping at retailers permitting DORA beverages in their businesses.

Why a DORA?

Many cities have already taken advantage of the Indiana legislation allowing them to establish a DORA. The city’s goal is to facilitate a vibrant setting that promotes economic development and enhances the overall downtown experience.

Benefits of a DORA?

  • Boost Tourism in the Downtown
  • New Revenue Source for Restaurants and Bars
  • Increased Revenue and Spending in Retailers within the DORA Boundaries
  • Boost to Local Economy via Increase in Food & Beverage Tax Revenue
  • Easier Process for Organizations Hosting Downtown Events in the DORA

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to post a sign?

  • We will require posting of signs by retailer permittees that are participating in the DORA so that a person will know whether they can enter the business with an open container of alcohol. Non-participating business owners will have the option to place a sign indicating whether DORA is allowed.
DORA Door Sign DORA Door Sign DORA Door Sign

What cups will we use?

  • Designated Permittees and Vendors shall only use the designated clear plastic cup with the DORA logo printed on it. The designated cup style and logo will be made available to all Designated Permittees and Vendors upon finalization to ensure uniformity.

Can people enter or leave my business with alcoholic beverages?

  • A Designated Permittee or a Vendor may allow a person to exit their premises into the DORA with not more than two (2) open alcoholic beverages.

What are the fill limits of the beverages?

  • Beer or flavored malt beverages: up to sixteen (16) ounces.
  • Wine, cider, or a premixed cocktail up to twelve (12) ounces.
  • Liquor or a liquor-based cocktail: up to ten (10) ounces, including up to two (2) ounces of liquor.

Can outside drinks be brought into a DORA?

  • A person may not consume an alcoholic beverage in public areas of the DORA that was purchased outside of the DORA.

Can a business in a DORA refuse to allow alcoholic beverages onto their property?

  • A business located in a DORA may, on a nondiscriminatory basis, refuse to allow persons to enter their business with an alcoholic beverage.

Are there any timing requirements to the DORA, or is it 24/7?

  • The DORA will be operational 365 days a year, from  Noon to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Is there any cost or fee to be a Designated Permittee in the DORA?

  • There is no cost from the City at this time, provided however that each Designated Permittee will be required to purchase their own DORA Cups. We may reassess depending on the cost of operating the DORA (i.e. public safety, sanitation, permit administration, etc.).

Who are the Designated Permittees in the DORA?

Syd's Fine Food and Spirits Alexander's on the Square The Nesst
Primeval Brewing Bica Café Bru Burger Bar
9th Street Bistro Silver Dollar Noble Coffee & Tea Company, Ltd.
Elks Lodge #576 Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano The Courthouse Club
Sara's Soiree

Where are the Vendor Areas within the DORA?

  • Federal Hill Commons
  • Downtown Square
  • Noblesville Creates and Maple Avenue

Are businesses located outside of the DORA allowed to cater inside the DORA and provide alcohol as a regular Designated Permittee? Is that based on an event, or open-ended?

  • Yes.  A business outside of the DORA may apply to be a vendor and be located within a “vendor location” area during a scheduled event.

If I choose to opt-out, can I later opt-in? (and vice versa)

  • Yes, you may opt-in or opt out of participation.

How would a new Designated Permittee apply?

  • You must fill out and file State Form 57288.
  • Both the City and the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) must approve a Designated Permittee.

Who is the City’s main POC for DORA processes, questions, etc.?

  • Please contact Community Engagement Manager Aaron Head with any questions.
  • [email protected]