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Akron proposes downtown outdoor drinking zone; plan would allow for drinking along towpath

Posted at 10:23 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 18:24:28-04

AKRON, Ohio — Residents in Akron could soon take their beers beyond the patios and fencing of some downtown bars. As early as mid-June, Mayor Dan Horrigan could have an application in with the state for the city’s first designated outdoor refreshment area, according to News 5 media partner

The proposal for the outdoor drinking area would allow for patrons to continuously sip from a designated, biodegradable cup, from Canal Park through Lock 3, up the steps of Lock 4 and down Main Street.

The map below shows the boundaries of the proposed drinking zone, based on a photo from the city obtained by the Akron Beacon Journal.

Customers could order an alcoholic beverage and walk the towpath trail along the canal then cut over to Bowery Street.

Ohio legislation passed in 2015 has allowed dozens of cities to create boundaries where free range alcohol consumption is regulated, and Akron could follow suit.

According to, local businesses, including The Akron Civic Theatre, Baxter’s and the Barley House agreed with the proposal. If this is approved, outdoor drinking would be limited from noon to midnight.

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