Ohio open container bill gains legislative support - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Ohio open container bill gains legislative support

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If the legislation were to pass, it would allow Ohioans to walk outside a bar with alcohol in hand, and enter another bar within the same district. FOX19/Gordon Graham If the legislation were to pass, it would allow Ohioans to walk outside a bar with alcohol in hand, and enter another bar within the same district. FOX19/Gordon Graham
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A bill that would create entertainment districts in Ohio's largest cities is gaining legislative support after being introduced just a few weeks ago.

If the legislation were to pass, it would allow Ohioans to walk outside a bar with alcohol in hand, and enter another bar within the same district.

State Representative Alicia Reece of Bond Hill is a co-sponsor of the measure, House Bill 598, which is intended to make Cincinnati competitive with other large cities.

"This came from the citizens as we asked them how to make the city more inviting, what would get you to stay and spend more money," said Reece. "Like you see in New Orleans, like you see in a lot of the major cities, and I certainly think it would give us the feel of a major city."

And the plan is attractive to folks who visit Over-The-Rhine and The Banks.

OTR resident Alicia Ryan just got back from Europe and she says this plan is very similar to what she saw overseas.

"One of the things we noticed while we were there visiting is there's a lot of partying and places to go where you can take a to-go beer and walk around," she said. "It didn't seem to cause any issues."

But others have concerns about open containers.

"I do worry just about the crowd down here in Over-The-Rhine and making sure there's enough police presence to help contain any rowdiness," said Sarah Finney at 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab.

The way the legislation is written, the entertainment districts would be designated by the state and cities the size of Cincinnati would be allowed a maximum of just two entertainment districts. Those entertainment districts could be no larger than about a half-mile square.

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