Oxford’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area

Oxford’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) is in effect daily from 11 AM – 11 PM. (The inaugural launch was on June 25th, 2020 which coincided with the first Red Brick Friday.) This is an exciting development for our town and one that we hope you’ll enjoy, whether you’re a resident or a visitor passing through for the day!

Three friends clinking their cups of beer

Wait, what is a DORA?

DORA stands for Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area. This is a specific area, often spanning several streets, where patrons can purchase alcoholic beverages from participating businesses and then take those drinks outside to enjoy.

In Oxford, the DORA boundaries are as follows:

  • The East side of Elm Street from Church Street to Walnut Street
  • The North side of Walnut Street from Elm Street to Campus Avenue
  • The West side of Campus Avenue from Walnut Street to Church Street
  • The South side of Church Street from Elm Street to Campus Avenue

Or hey, just take a look at this map:

Outdoor refreshment area map

There’s also street signage that lets you know when you’re about to leave the DORA (and therefore cannot take your alcohol any further). So keep your eyes out and you’ll be fine!

When can I enjoy the DORA?

Some people think the DORA was one-night-only since it launched on the same night as Red Brick Friday. But fear not because when the DORA is turned on, it’s in effect every single day from 11 AM to 11 PM.

Will the DORA be in effect year-round?

Yes, this year DORA will be in effect year-round.. The cool thing about the DORA is that it can be turned on and off. If it does turn off by the vote of the City Council you will simply need to enjoy your drinks inside one of our many great establishments (or on their patios if they have that option available).

Do I need a special cup?

Good question! And yes, you do! When you participate in the DORA, bars and restaurants will give you a special DORA cup. You are only allowed to drink alcohol purchased from a business if it’s labeled in a DORA cup.

The specially made DORA cups will have the logo printed right on the cup. For hot beverages, the cup will be labeled with a DORA sticker.

So can I bring my own alcohol uptown?

Nope! Any alcohol being consumed outdoors uptown needs to be in a DORA cup with the contents purchased from a participating business (cups are compostable and not to be refilled). The purpose of the DORA is to give you an opportunity to enjoy your drink outside (or inside shops that allow DORA beverages inside), but it’s also to help support our local bars and restaurants! So let’s show them some love by sticking to the rules.

Okay, I promise to follow the rules. What businesses are participating in DORA?

What do I do with my cups when I’m done?

When we receive our specially-ordered cups, they will be compostable so we encourage you to hold onto your cups and compost them rather than throw them away.

DORA cups are also single-use (for health & safety reasons) so please be prepared to properly dispose of your current cup before purchasing a new one (whether from a new business or the same one you bought the first cup from).

Young man sitting on the street petting two dogs

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