What is a CED?

A Community Entertainment District is a bounded area that includes a combination of entertainment, retail, educational, sporting, social, cultural, or arts establishments within close proximity to hotels, restaurants, retail sales establishments, enclosed shopping centers, museums, performing arts theaters, movie theaters, sports facilities, etc., that provide similar services to the community.

  • The CED designation has no effect other than to create the new pool of restaurant liquor permits within that CED area.
  • The CED does not in any fashion limit the City’s normal land use, zoning, and other regulatory oversights.
  • The CED does not exempt such establishments from any of the other state requirements and operational controls that apply to liquor serving establishments.

Why Form a CED?

Ohio law limits the number of liquor permits allowed within a jurisdiction (by type of permit) based upon the population of the jurisdiction. The type of permit most often used by full-service restaurants that wish to serve beer, wine, and mixed drinks, is known as a D-5 permit. As the supply of such permits becomes constrained, the cost and availability of permits can become an impediment to the establishment of new restaurants. The establishment of a CED creates a new, geographically limited allocation of permits that are, in most ways, comparable to the D-5 permit.

What a CED is not:

  • An open container law. Not to be confused with ORAs, The ORA law is separate and distinct from the CED law.

How is a CED created?

  • A land-owning applicant can apply with its local government, or the local government can create a joint economic development district.
    • Communities file an application with the City of Cincinnati. If approved, the CED is created by the Division of Liquor Control and a limited number of D-5J liquor permits, a special permit class, are then allowable within the CED for possible issuance.


  • The Legislative Authority designate property as a CED pursuant to a joint economic development district contract.