Bars in NW Ohio cheer new outdoor public-drinking area

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Bar owners in Toledo say a roll-out of the city’s first outdoor public-drinking area is going well.

The entertainment district near downtown Toledo is allowed under a new state law that lets revelers legally carry open containers of alcohol.

The law is intended to spur economic development by allowing cities of certain sizes to create the outdoor refreshment areas that are exempt from state law banning public alcohol consumption.

Some Ohio cities have said they’re hoping to create entertainment districts similar to New Orleans’ French Quarter or Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

Middletown, Cleveland and Canton are among the Ohio cities that have similar areas or have taken steps to create outdoor public-drinking districts.