ABRA Last Call Newsletter - March Edition

Last Call March

Four ABC Licenses Coming Available in Georgetown

Georgetown neighborhood in Washington, DC.

Four ABC licenses will be available for application in Georgetown next month, including one for a tavern and three for restaurants. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) will begin accepting applications for the licenses at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 10.  

The tavern license is only available to an existing restaurant located in the Georgetown Historic District. An applicant would be eligible to apply for the license as either a tavern or nightclub. The availability of the tavern license also allows taverns located in the area to transfer alcoholic beverage licenses to new owners and new locations within the neighborhood.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and Rules Reform Amendment Act of 1994 (DC law 10-122) only permits six taverns in the Georgetown Historic District. It also freezes the transfer or sale of tavern and nightclub licenses in the historic district when six taverns and/or nightclubs are licensed.

In addition to the available tavern license, three new restaurant licenses are also available in Georgetown as a result of a license class change and cancellations. Sixty-eight licensed restaurants are permitted in the neighborhood under the Georgetown Moratorium Zone regulations. Currently, 65 restaurant licenses exist in the zone.

Application details are available on ABRA’s website. Completed applications for the licenses will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to the consideration of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Businesses interested in applying will need to do so in person beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 10 at ABRA’s office:

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

Members of the public that have questions can email or call ABRA at (202) 442-4423.

Date Set for Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone Hearing

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 7 to hear input on the future of the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone.

At the hearing, members of the public can comment on two proposals regarding the renewal of the moratorium. The first, submitted by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C, proposes to renew the existing Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone for a five-year period with certain modifications. A second proposal submitted by the Kalorama Citizens Association seeks to have the existing moratorium zone renewed with no changes to current restrictions.

In an effort to allow time for the public to comment and to evaluate both proposals, the Board adopted emergency rules to extend the existing moratorium for an additional 120 days to July 12, 2014. The moratorium was set to expire on April 16, 2014.  

Members of the public and representatives of organizations that want to testify should contact ABRA General Counsel Martha Jenkins by Thursday, May 1, 2014 to do so:

  • Email – include full name, title, and organization, if applicable, of the person testifying
  • Call – (202) 442-4456

Members of the public that are unable to testify in person can submit written statements to the Board until 4 p.m. on Friday, May 9. Written statements must include the full name, title, organization, if applicable, and signature of the person(s) submitting the comment. Written comment may be submitted by:

  • Email
  • Mail – Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, 2000 14th St., NW, Suite 400 South, Washington, DC 20009

The hearing will be held in the Board Hearing Room at the Reeves Center:

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

Visit ABRA's website for more details on the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone.

Three New ABC Laws in Effect

Three new alcoholic beverage laws are in effect that could impact the businesses of on-premise establishments and alcohol manufacturers in the District. 

 An ABC licensed restaurant, tavern, nightclub, hotel or multipurpose facility that has a class C license can now apply with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for a Distillery Pub Permit. The permit allows an on-premise establishment to manufacture, distill and store craft liquors—like gin and vodka—on licensed premises or in an area immediately adjacent to the premises.

The Distillery Pub Licensure Act of 2013 (B20-29) also permits licensees to sell the liquor they produce to patrons for either on or off-premise consumption. Sales for off-premise consumption must be in sealed containers and can occur from 7 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week. Spirits may also be sold to wholesalers for resale to other ABC licensees in the District.

An ABC licensed establishment can apply for a distillery pub permit by visiting ABRA’s office located at 2000 14th St., NW. The annual fee for the permit is $7,500.

Another new law allows manufacturers to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages from 7 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week. Prior to the Manufacturers’ Sunday Sale Act of 2013 (B20-197) taking effect, manufacturers were prohibited from selling and delivering to wholesalers, retailers and consumers on Sundays.

Manufacturers will also gain four additional days to conduct product tastings. The Manufacturer Tasting Permit Act of 2013 (B20-234) allows an alcoholic beverage manufacturer that has a tasting permit to conduct product tastings from 1-9 p.m., seven days a week. Manufacturers were previously permitted to conduct tastings Thursday through Saturday.

All three laws were approved by the DC Council and signed into law by Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Visit ABRA's website to learn more about alcoholic beverage laws in the District.