ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: June/July 2022 Edition

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Last Call Newsletter


Reopen DC Alcohol Act

Legislation Spotlight | Reopen DC Alcohol Act

On May 9, 2022, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Reopen Washington DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2022 (Reopen DC Alcohol Act). The Act has been transmitted to Congress for the required 30-day congressional review period. The projected effective date is July 20, 2022.

The Act represents a bold and innovative approach to boosting DC's economic recovery, removing hurdles to launching and growing businesses, addressing food deserts, and creating opportunities to engage and attract residents and visitors.

Provisions include:

  • Attracting new full-service grocery stores to communities in Qualified Supermarket Tax Incentive Areas in Ward 5, Buzzard Point in Ward 6, and all of Wards 7 and 8.
  • Extending the Streatery Program through 2023.
  • Creating new alcohol licenses, including a Commercial Lifestyle License and a Third-Party Delivery License.
  • Allowing additional taverns in the Georgetown historic district.
  • Permitting doggy bags of spirits at restaurants and hotels.
  • Eliminating select application requirements such as notarization.

ABRA will further delve into key provisions during a virtual information session scheduled for Tuesday, July 19, at 10:30 a.m. Registration is required.


Rulemaking | Glover Park Moratorium Zone

The Glover Park Moratorium Zone (GPMZ) has been in effect, with some modifications, since 1999. The moratorium prohibits the issuance of any new on-premises retailer’s licenses, class CT, CN, CX, DN, DT, or DX, and restricts license holders from transferring their license to a location within the zone.

The existing moratorium expired on February 10, 2022.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board adopted emergency rules extending the moratorium for 120 days on February 16 following a petition from Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 3B.

Following a public hearing on the moratorium on May 25, the ABC Board adopted emergency and proposed rules on June 8 extending the moratorium through October 6, 2022, unless superseded.

The ABC Board will take final rulemaking action no less than 30-days after publication of the notice in the DC Register. The emergency and proposed rules will be transmitted to the DC Council for a 90-day period of review. No changes to the existing moratorium are proposed.

Summer Extended Holiday Hours

Spring, Summer Extended Holiday Hours

The next holidays eligible for extended hours are Juneteenth (June 19) and Independence Day (July 4). 

Registered establishments may sell and serve alcohol until 4:00 a.m. and operate 24 hours a day. Extended hours start the evening of the first date and end at 4:00 a.m. on the last date.

  • Juneteenth | Saturday, June 18 - Monday, June 20
  • Independence Day | Friday, July 1 - Monday, July 4

Establishments may register by submitting an Extended Holiday Hours Application and Public Safety Form at least 30-days before the first holiday they would like to participate in. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. There is no fee.

The next registration deadline is Monday, August 8 for Labor Day Weekend.


Summer Readiness

Licensees interested in serving alcohol to patrons in outdoor public or private spaces are reminded to ensure they have the required license endorsement prior to offering any such service.

To serve alcohol in an:

Offering outdoor alcohol service without the appropriate endorsement may result in fines.

Prior to submitting a Substantial Change Application requesting an endorsement, a licensee should consult any Settlement Agreement applying the business location or Board Order.

Endorsements are also required to offer live entertainment such as a musician, trivia, or karaoke or to charge an entry fee or alcohol for carry-out and delivery.

Key Dates

Mark Your Calendars

Licensees are encouraged to note the following deadlines:

  • Thursday, June 30—Third Annual Payment for Solicitors. View fee and renewal schedule.
  • Tuesday, July 12—Final day for restaurants, hotels, clubs, and multipurpose facilities; trains and boats; and caterers to submit a renewal application and pay licensing and late fees prior to being issued a Cease-and-Desist Order. View fee and renewal schedule.
  • Monday, August 1—Quarterly Statement (Q3) Filing for Hotels and Restaurants. Read filing instructions.
  • Monday, August 1—Semiannual Statement Filing for Caterers. Read filing instructions.


Upcoming Trainings, Info Sessions

ABRA hosts free trainings and information sessions on an ongoing basis. All sessions are offered virtually and require advance registration. Upcoming sessions include:

  • Reopen Washington DC Alcohol Act - Tuesday, July 19 at 10:30 a.m. Profile of provisions included in law including new license types such as the commercial lifestyle license and third-party delivery licenses.
  • ID Compliance - Monday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m. Monday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. Focus on reducing youth access to alcohol by highlighting acceptable forms of photo ID, confiscations, and practical tips for verifying authentic photo IDs.
  • ABC 101 - Tuesday, August 16 at 10:30 a.m. Introduction to ABRA, key laws and regulations, and best practices.

Program Spotlight

Underage Drinking Prevention

As part of ABRA’s ongoing commitment to minimizing youth access to alcohol, ABRA’s Enforcement Division continues to conduct sale-to-minor compliance checks at on and off-premises retailers across DC.

Licensees are reminded to request and verify photo IDs of patrons prior to selling or serving alcohol to them.

Minors participating in compliance checks always present their authentic photo ID listed with their legal age on it. If asked, the minor is required to respond with their legal age.

The ABC Board considers alcohol sales to minors to be a serious offense. Violations may result in fines and/or license suspension or revocation.

Licensees are encouraged to require their staff at all levels to attend ABRA’s free ID Compliance Training annually. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Monday, June 27 and Monday, August 15. ABRA also makes available complimentary ID Checking Guides annually to licensees upon request. Requests can be made by emailing sarah.fashbaugh@dc.gov.

Office Closures

Office Closures, Board Recess

ABRA’s office will be closed on Monday, June 20 and Monday, July 4 in observance of Juneteenth and Independence Day, respectively.

The ABC Board will be in recess on Wednesday, June 22 and Wednesday, July 6.