ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: January/February 2023

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Last Call Newsletter

JAN/FEB 2023

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Streatery Compliance Checks Underway

Per the Reopen Washington DC Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Act of 2021 (Reopen DC Alcohol Act), select alcohol licensed venues may operate a streatery in a DC Office of Zoning designated commercial or mixed-used area with a Streatery Endorsement through December 31, 2023.

Eligible venues include off-premises retailers, manufacturers with an on-site sales and consumption permit, and food retailers with frontage at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Previously, venues only needed to register their streatery with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and post their registration confirmation alongside their alcohol license. The endorsement requirement took effect on June 30, 2022.

To ensure that all venues have secured the endorsement, ABRA investigators are conducting compliance checks at venues that previously registered a streatery with DDOT to determine their operating and endorsement statuses. Venues operating streateries that were not previously registered will also be visited when observed.

During this educational outreach period, investigators will only issue written warnings for non-compliance.

Since streateries are only permitted through the end of 2023, licensees may opt to apply for a Sidewalk Café Endorsement which extends similar privileges and can be renewed in conjunction with their alcohol license. Interested licensees should submit a completed Sidewalk Café Endorsement Application.

Endorsement application questions can be directed to abc@dc.gov. Include “Streatery Endorsement” or “Sidewalk Café Endorsement” in the subject line.

Approaching Deadlines alarm clock

Annual License Payment Deadline

Annual license fee invoices have been mailed in mid-February for:

  • Class A (retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, internet)
  • Class C and D (restaurants, hotels, clubs, multipurpose facilities, marine vessels, common carriers, arenas)
  • Caterers

The payment deadline is Friday, March 31. Payment options are detailed on the invoice. 

Late fees will start to accrue on Monday, April 3 and Cease and Desist Orders will be issued on Wednesday, April 26.  

If you did not receive your invoice or if you have recently changed your mailing address, email abc@dc.gov. Include “Annual License Fee” in the subject line.

Brew Pub, Third-Party Alcohol Delivery Compliance Filings

The Reopen DC Alcohol Act now requires Brew Pubs and Third-Party Alcohol Delivery licensees to submit compliance filings to ABRA. Filings must detail activity that took place during the preceding reporting period.

Brew Pubs must file quarterly and detail the amount of malt beverage in gallons: 

  • Brewed on-premises on hand at the beginning and end of the quarter 
  • Brewed on-premises during the quarter  
  • Brewed on-premises and sold to each retailer for resale during the quarter. Each retailer must be identified by their trade name and alcohol license number.  
  • Brewed on-premises sold for on-premises consumption  
  • Brewed on-premises being reported as loss or waste 

The deadline for the first report is Monday, May 1. Subsequent reports will be due on July 30, October 30, January 30, and April 30 annually.

Third-Party Alcohol Delivery licensees must file semiannually and report the following for each delivery:

  • Date of the delivery
  • Total number of alcoholic beverages included in the delivery
  • Trade name, street address, and alcohol license number of the business the purchase was made and delivered on the behalf

The deadline for the first report is Monday, July 31. Subsequent reports will be due on January 30 and July 30 annually.

Due dates falling on weekends or District Government or federal holidays carry over to the next business day.

Guidance will be distributed to licensees two months prior to the first submission deadline.

Caterers, hotels, and restaurants who failed to meet the January 30 deadline may still file online. Late and non-filers may be subject to fines and license suspension or revocation.

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Moratoriums Up for Renewal

Currently, DC has four (4) active moratorium zones where specific alcohol license classes and/or activities are restricted for a designated period of time. Per DC Official Code, only groups with standing may request a moratorium. Requests are subject to ABC Board approval.

Two (2) of the four (4) moratorium zones—Adams Morgan (AMMZ) and West Dupont (WDMZ)—are up for renewal in 2023. The AMMZ was scheduled to expire on February 6, 2023; however, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C requested a 90-day extension of the existing moratorium to further consider the moratorium’s future. The Board adopted an Emergency Rulemaking on February 1, 2023, to extend the existing moratorium for 120 days.

The WDMZ is scheduled to expire on April 9, 2023.  The agency has yet to hear from the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions regarding the future of this moratorium.

Lastly, on February 15, 2023, the Board adopted a Final Rulemaking for Glover Park (GPMZ) which will renew the moratorium for an additional three years.

Extended Hours Old Clock

Extended Hours, Daylight Savings Begins

The next holiday offering extended hours is President’s Day (February 20). From the evening of Friday, February 17 until 4:00 a.m. on Monday, February 20, registered venues may sell and serve alcohol until 4:00 a.m. and stay open 24 hours.

Venues interested in participating in the Extended Holiday Hours Program must register at least 30 days before the first eligible holiday period they want to participate in.

Upcoming deadlines:

  • Friday, March 17—DC Emancipation Day Weekend (Friday, April 14-Monday, April 17)
  • Friday, April 28—Memorial Day Weekend (Friday, May 26-Monday, May 29)

Venues eligible to participate in each holiday are published on ABRA’s website.

Daylight Saving Time

For the start of spring Daylight Savings on Sunday, March 12, venues whose alcohol license permits them to serve alcohol until 3:00 a.m. are automatically eligible to serve until 4:00 a.m. to compensate for the loss of one (1) hour. Board Orders and Settlement Agreements apply.

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Training and Info Sessions

Recordings or presentations from our most recent training and information sessions are available online.

  • Orientation for ANC Commissioners - This course introduces newly elected and re-elected Advisory Neighborhood Commission commissioners (ANCs) to key ABRA responsibilities, and alcohol and medical cannabis laws and regulations.
  • ID Compliance - This course focuses on preventing underage drinking by reducing youth access to alcohol through retailer education. The course covers topics including tips for ID verification, resources, and the Sale to Minor program.
  • Community Training - This training course was created to help DC residents, civic and citizen associations and others better understand ABRA's mission and responsibilities, as well as alcohol and medical cannabis licensing and law basics. Covered topics include alcohol license types, complaints and Settlement Agreements.

All training and information sessions are hosted online and are free with advanced registration. View ABRA's training schedule and available recordings.

Training Survey

ABRA wants to hear what alcohol or cannabis training topics would most benefit you and your team. Please complete our three-question survey and help inform our future programming schedule. All input is welcomed.

Take the Survey

Red closed sign hanging on glass door

2023 Office and ABC Board Recess Schedule

The 2023 ABC Board and ABRA office calendar is now available. The ABC Board will continue to convene virtually on Wednesdays in 2023 except when in recess. ABRA will maintain normal hours of operation (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) on recess days.

All ABC Board meetings are held virtually. Agendas and streaming links are published in advance of meetings at abra.dc.gov/service/meeting-agendas.

Office Closures

ABRA’s office will be closed for the following holidays: 

  • Monday, February 20 | President's Day 
  • Monday, April 17 | DC Emancipation Day (Observed)

Our office will reopen at 8:30 a.m. the day immediately following each holiday.