Last Call Newsletter: July-August 2015 Edition

Last Call

Manufacturers Can Now Apply to Operate Outdoor Patios


Breweries, distilleries and wineries can now sell and serve alcohol on outdoor patios with the proper permits.

Under a new law, alcohol manufacturers that hold on-site sales and consumption permits can apply for sidewalk café and summer garden endorsements with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). Manufacturers can operate permitted outdoor areas from 1-9 p.m., seven days a week. Applications for the endorsements are available on ABRA's website.

The new law is a provision of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127), which went into effect on Monday, July 27.

The law only affects District alcohol manufacturers and has no impact on brew pubs, distillery pubs or wine pubs.

New Bill Proposes Banning Powdered Alcohol in the District

White Powder on Black Background

A new bill introduced in the District of Columbia Council in June proposes a number of updates to the District's alcohol laws.

If the Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Amendment Act of 2015 (B21-0253) is approved, it would allow the District of Columbia to follow several states across the country in banning powdered alcohol. Under the proposal, District manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers would be prohibited from selling, shipping and importing the product. Earlier this year, the sale of powdered alcohol was approved at the federal level; however, its sale remains subject to local regulations. 

Another provision of the bill would prohibit District retailers from diluting, refilling or tampering with alcoholic beverage bottles or containers. In addition, licensees would be prohibited from changing or removing labels from bottles. Alcoholic beverage licensees could face fines and penalties for violating the law if it is approved.

The bill also outlines new opportunities for licensees. It proposes allowing full-service grocery stores to sell growlers of wine, hard cider and mead with an alcohol content of 15 percent or less. Another item would allow pub crawl organizers to enhance security at their events by participating in the reimbursable detail subsidy program.  

The complete proposal can be reviewed online. The bill is subject to the approval of the Council of the District of Columbia, Mayor Muriel Bowser and a 30-day Congressional review period. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration will keep licensees posted on the bill as it moves through the legislative process. 

Labor Day Weekend Extended Holiday Hours

Bartender Serving Cocktail

Labor Day weekend will be the last time this year establishments can stay open later three days in a row. 

During that weekend, restaurants, taverns, nightclubs and other on-premises establishments that are registered for extended holiday hours can sell alcohol until 4 a.m. on the mornings of Saturday, Sept. 5; Sunday, Sept. 6; and Monday, Sept. 7

On-premises establishments that are not yet registered still have time to do so. The deadline to sign up to participate in Labor Day weekend is Thursday, Aug. 6. 

The extended holiday hours program allows registered on-premises establishments to stay open 24 hours a day and to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. on certain holidays and holiday weekends. Establishments that have settlement agreements restricting closing hours are not eligible to participate.

Complete registration details are available on the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration's website.  

Food and Beverage Statements Due from Restaurants, Hotels, Caterers

Food Prep

ABC licensees of restaurants and hotels are due to file second-quarter statements with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) by July 30. Statements must include the following from April 1 through June 30 of this year:

  • Gross sales receipts for food and alcohol; and
  • Total expenses for the purchase of food and alcohol.

Quarterly statements may be submitted online or with a printed form. Complete details are available on ABRA’s website

Also due by July 30 are semi-annual reports from caterers. Reports must include the quantity of alcoholic beverages sold as well as sales and expenditures from January 1 through June 30 of this year. Forms are available on ABRA's website.

Licensees that have questions can contact ABRA Compliance Analyst Monica Clark by emailing or by calling (202) 442-4438.

Annual Payments Due by Sept. 30


A variety of establishments that pay for licenses on an annual basis are due to make payments soon. 

Licensees of taverns, nightclubs, and beer and wine stores will need to make annual payments by Sept. 30. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration will mail payment notices to affected licensees in mid-August. 

A fee of $50 per day will be assessed for any late payments, which may not exceed the cost of the license. 

Attend ABC Orientation Training on Aug. 27

ABRA Training

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) will hold a special training for new and existing ABC licensees from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27 that will cover:

  • District ABC laws and regulations (including recent changes to the law),
  • Tips for working effectively with the community,
  • Settlement Agreements,
  • Expectations of licensees,
  • Best practices, and
  • Noise abatement and sound management.

Contact ABRA Community Resource Officer Sarah Fashbaugh by Friday, Aug. 21 to register:

  • Email
  • Call (202) 397-3971

Attendance for this class is strongly recommended for new license holders. Requests for interpreters may be made; however, they must be submitted by the registration deadline. Training is free of charge and will be held at ABRA's office: 

  • 2000 14th St., NW, Suite 400 South, 4th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20009

RSVP for Books and Records Training in September

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) will hold two books and records training sessions for hotel and restaurant licensees on Thursday, Sept. 24. Training will cover: 

  • Food sales requirements,
  • Food sales reporting,
  • Quarterly statement filings, and
  • Books and records tracking.

Licensees can attend either two-hour training session on Thursday, Sept. 24:

  • 9-11 a.m. (Spanish interpreter available), or
  • 2-4 p.m. (Korean interpreter available).

RSVP for training by contacting ABRA Compliance Analyst Monica Clark by Friday, Sept. 18:

  • Email 
  • Call (202) 442-4438 

Training is free of charge and will be held at ABRA's office: 

  • 2000 14th St., NW, Suite 400 South, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009