Gina Mace

CUYAHOGA FALLS: City Council voted Monday to create an entertainment district for the Portage Crossing development.

Steve Rubin, chief operating officer of Stark Enterprises, said the designation will make it easier to attract full-service restaurants to the new retail marketplace.

“We will be able to have five liquor licenses for five restaurant-type establishments,” Rubin said.

The additional licenses should make negotiations with prospective tenants easier, he said.

The state allows, with approval of the local government, one new liquor license for every five acres, up to 15 licenses, in an entertainment district.

The license is a D5-J designation, meaning liquor can be sold for on-premises consumption until 2:30 a.m.

Portage Crossing is eligible for five such licenses.

Falls Development Director Sue Truby said the licenses have to stay within the entertainment district meaning someone with a restaurant in Portage Crossing can’t sell the license to a bar on Howe Avenue.

Without the designation, restaurants and bars would have to purchase licenses from current license holders in the city.

There are currently 43 entertainment districts in Ohio.