Having accomplished re-
writing the Ohio Revised Code to make itself eligible to create a Community Entertainment District, we hope Ravenna City Council follows through and supports the Bica administration's desire to create one for the city of Ravenna.
Doing so will enable the city to attract more family restaurants because the city will gain in the number of liquor licenses it has available. Currently, Ravenna has all the liquor licenses that it is statutorily eligible to have.
Mayor Bica, in discussing the Entertainment District with council recently, emphasized his administration has no interest in bringing more bars to the city, but would like to attract more family-style restaurants and that many of these will not consider the city for a location without the ability to sell alcoholic beverages.These include the franchise family restaurants, Applebee's and Ruby Tuesday, for instance, both quality institutions.
Although all restaurants compete, the location of many of them in one community makes that community more of a draw for those who want to go out for lunch or dinner. Having more of them in Ravenna would make it more of a destination point, a place for families to congregate and have a good time.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, at Ravenna's request, helped initiate a change in Ohio law so that communities incorporated before 1860 could be eligible for an Entertainment District; previously a community had to have been incorporated prior to 1840. In fact, making the calendar a part of the eligibility requirements strikes us as irrelevant and probably should not be part of the statute at all. But, in sum, she did her part on behalf of Ravenna, which was incorporated in 1853.
The bigger the entertainment district, the more permits may be available, so how to draw its size and shape is up to Ravenna City Council. The city would certainly have a deciding voice in the outcome of any application for a liquor license.
Neighboring communities have established entertainment districts. Akron established one to encourage the location of more restaurants to attract middle class people to its downtown. Kent, conscious of the potential of its student market, followed suit. In both instances, more restaurants and more foot traffic at night were the results.
The same would hold true for Ravenna, we believe.