ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: Mar/April 2019 Edition

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Last Call Newsletter

Mar.-April 2019

Adams Morgan Comment Period

Friday, March 22, began the 30 day public comment period on the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board's (Board) proposed rules to renew the Adams Morgan liquor moratorium for three more years. During the comment period, members of the public can voice their opinions and concerns to the Board regarding its proposed rulemaking. The comment period ends on Monday, April 22.

Several restrictions would apply within the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone, which would be extended approximately 1,800 feet in all directions from 2459 18th Street NW, including:

  • No new licenses for taverns and multipurpose facilities within the zone.
  • No nightclub licenses are permitted in the zone.
  • No more than 10 licenses issued for taverns and multipurpose facilities within the zone.
  • A restaurant holding a license within the zone is prohibited from changing its license class unless there are fewer than 10 taverns and multipurpose facilities within the zone.
  • A license holder outside of the zone is not permitted to transfer its license to a location within the zone unless it is a restaurant, hotel or off-premises retailer.

The following are exempt from the terms of the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Off-premises retailers (class A and B)

Complete terms of the proposed rulemaking can be reviewed in the DC Register. 

Memorial Day Extended Hours

Extended Hours will kick off the Friday before Memorial Day at some establishments in the District. That’s because under the District’s Extended Holiday Hours Program, more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels are registered to sell and serve alcohol an hour later for the three-day period beginning on the night of Friday, May 24, 2019.

Licensees registered for the program must end alcohol service by 4 a.m. on the morning of Monday, May 27, 2019, unless an enrolled establishment is required by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to close earlier. Extended hours are not permitted on the night of Monday, May 27.

There is still time for establishments to sign up for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. An on-premises licensee that is interested in participating in the program can apply by submitting a registration form at least 30 days prior to the first holiday an applicant wants to participate. Once a licensee is registered for the program, the establishment is eligible to participate in the program each year thereafter.

Licensees with settlement agreements or Board orders restricting closing hours may not be eligible to participate. Those registered for Emancipation Day extended hours are also registered for Memorial Day extended hours.

Complete details are available on ABRA’s website.

ABC Board Advisory Opinion

On January 9, 2019, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) issued Advisory Opinion Order No. 2019-012 regarding the storage requirements of D.C. licensed wholesalers. In light of additional inquiries, the Board took the opportunity to further clarify its Order and provided the following guidance:

In a request dated December 7, 2018, a petitioner inquired an advisory opinion from the Board on wholesaler storage requirements and laws impacting the delivery of alcoholic beverage inventory into the District of Columbia under Title 25 of the D.C. Official Code (Title 25).

Section 25-754(a) requires that alcoholic beverages distributed by wholesalers "not be manufactured, kept for sale, or sold by any licensee other than at the licensed establishment; provided, that the Board may permit the storing of beverages upon premises other than the licensed establishment .... " D.C. Code § 25-754(a). Under § 25-754(b)," A licensee may not store alcoholic beverages upon premises outside the District." D.C. Code § 25-754(b).

Please see the Advisory Opinion in its entirety here.

Class A and B substantial change

Class A and Class B off-premises retailer’s licenses are now be able to apply for up to 6 one-day substantial change applications per calendar year. One-day substantial changes allow off-premises retailers class A and class B licensees to permit to the on-premises consumption of alcohol as part of a specific event. The one-day substantial change application is available on ABRA's website.  


Books and Records Training

Hotel and restaurant licensees are invited to attend ABRA's Books and Records Training on Thursday, April 25, 2019, at either:

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

Training will cover food sales requirements and reporting, quarterly statement filings, and books and records tracking. For additional dates, please visit ABRA’s website.

Register online or contact ABRA Compliance Analyst Monica Clark by Friday, April 19, 2019, by emailing or calling (202) 442-4438.

Licensee Orientation Training

ABRA has added two new Licensee Orientation Trainings to its schedule this year. All new and existing licensees throughout the District are invited to attend. The next two trainings will be:

Thursday, May 16, 2019 (RSVP by May 10) 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 8, 2019 (RSVP by August 2) 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The training will cover District alcohol laws and regulations (including recent changes to the law), tips for working effectively with the community, settlement agreements, expectations of licensees and best practices, as well as noise abatement and sound management.

Register online or contact ABRA Community Resource Officer Sarah Fashbaugh by email or by calling (202) 397-3971.

Attendance for this class is strongly recommended for new license holders. Training is free of charge. Requests for interpreters may be made but must be submitted by the registration deadline.

Training Location

All trainings are free of charge and located at ABRA's office at 2000 14th St., NW, Suite 400 South, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009.