Noblesville Common Council approves designated outdoor refreshment area


During its April 24 meeting, the Noblesville Common Council unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area downtown.

A DORA is an area where patrons 21 and older can purchase alcoholic beverages in a marked container from participating establishments and consume them outside within the district.

The ordinance will now be submitted to the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission for final adoption.

Noblesville’s Community Engagement Manager Aaron Head introduced the ordinance at the April 9 council meeting and presented changes to it during the council’s April 24 meeting.

“We added three additional restaurants since our last meeting, (including) the soon-to-be-open Courthouse Club, as well as the recently opened Sara’s Soiree,” Head said. “In addition to that, Matteo’s also submitted an application to be a designated permittee. So, at this point, we’re up to 13 permittees as well as two organizations that have asked to be vendors in the area.”

Head said he assumes additional businesses will apply to be designated permittees.

“Activations like this are why we have businesses that are looking at our downtown,” Head said. “When people are looking to open restaurants, they’re looking at Noblesville. Without naming names, at least five more restaurants are looking for opportunities downtown today.”

The DORA’s weekday hours also changed from the previous reading. Hours will now be noon to 10 p.m. during the week, which Head said will “line up better with restaurant hours downtown.”

Kate Baker, executive director of Noblesville Main Street, said that the DORA will enhance programs such as the Street Dance and First Fridays.

“This brings another level of connectivity between our businesses and restaurants,” Baker said.

Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen applauded the council for thoughtfully considering the ordinance for the community and said it would provide an “economic boost to the authentic and vibrant downtown by allowing patrons to sip, shop and stroll within the defined DORA.”

“If approved by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, we will see increased foot traffic, tourism and new revenue streams for local businesses,” Jensen stated. “The DORA will safely and responsibly benefit our community, business owners and visitors.”

The next common council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 14 at City Hall.

For more about the ordinance, visit