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Major Legislative Victories for DC Restaurants & Bars   Today the Council of the District of Columbia voted on B20-0902 – Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2014. There were two major victories for RAMW and our members today! These victories would not have been possible without your support, calls and letters to the Council. Thank you for responding to our calls to action. Your mobilization helped ensure that we were able to: Hold the line with regards to penalties for repeat offenders. The Council did not increase fines for repeat offenders...
Autumn daylight saving time is just around the corner. On Sunday, November 2, clocks fall back from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. As a result, alcoholic beverage licensed establishments will automatically gain an extra hour to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. Establishments will be required to stop all sales and service of alcoholic beverages by 3 a.m. unless the establishment's license states otherwise. Licensees that have questions can contact the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration at (202) 442-4423 or visit their website. Subscribe to receive current updates and information...
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's announcement this week that the state would make up some of its budget deficit by increasing the markup on distilled spirits already has those in the hospitality industry gearing up for paying more — and thus charging more — for drinks. McAuliffe didn't outline how exactly the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control would raise an additional $2.5 million from the liquor markup, but ABC is considering three options, according to a letter sent to stakeholders Wednesday and provided to the Washington Business Journal. Though...
Pub crawls, the wildly popular events that encourage people to travel from bar to bar for drink specials, will not be banned in Arlington County’s retail corridors as a result of a vote by the County Board to scrutinize them more carefully. But those who sponsor the events soon will have to start picking up the tab for police and cleanup crews, which some bar owners and promoters say could kill the crawls nonetheless. County Board members, while loath to discourage the free-spending young adult demographic, voted unanimously Saturday to make organizers of pub crawls pay costs...
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – 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...
ABRA will be performing unannounced visits to ABC licensee holders, starting with establishments that have received complaints in the past. We highly encourage our members to make sure they are in compliance with District ABC noise laws. We also encourage our members to sign up for the ABRA listserv to stay informed on upcoming policy changes and campaigns that will affect your business. For more information on the Compliance Campaign on Noise Laws see below for the ABRA press release. MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, March 13, 2014 CONTACT: Jessie Cornelius (ABRA) 202.442....
  RAMW is pleased to announce that the state’s pending happy hour legislation has been signed and will be published on December 30, 2013. The new law, which will allow restaurants and bars to advertise happy hours through print, digital and social media, will be effective January 29th, 2014.   To be clear, the law does not allow for the advertisement of specific happy hour beverages and beverage prices (outside the restaurant or bar). However, once the law goes into effect in late January, establishments will be able to advertise “Happy Hour” or “Drink...
What would you do if someone who had been drinking excessively picked up their car keys and headed for the door? If you are a good bystander, you would intervene to help the person get home safely without risking injury to self or others. Cities and states, colleges and branches of the military are using that same bystander approach to prevent sexual assault: teaching professionals and friends how to offer assistance and intervene to prevent alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. In Arlington County, police are seeing an increase in reports of alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults of young...
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board issued on August 28, 2013 a new alcoholic beverage warning sign. The new warning sign must be posted by licensees at their establishments in a conspicuous place no later than Wednesday, November 27, 2013. The new sign provides several benefits to the public and licensees. Specifically, it allows the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to address several warnings and requirements for consuming alcoholic beverages in one sign thereby reducing the number of signs an establishment is required to have posted. Licensees can pick up the new...
Rebecca Cooper, Washington Business Journal The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has stepped up enforcement of a law that limits wine tastings and wine dinners at restaurants that serve wine on site, surprising many restaurateurs who have been offering them for years. The law prohibits wine wholesalers and distributors from participating in tasting events held in restaurants. Winemakers or winery representatives are allowed to participate in these types of events, and the law does not prevent wholesalers from offering tastings at shops that do not serve on premises. Read...
RAMW met with its Virginia members and state officials and legislators on October 10th at Clyde's of Tysons to discuss the myriad issues facing Northern Virginia restaurants. The meeting was very productive and provided an opportunity to dive into debates around restaurant operations, workforce development and taxes. Alcohol and ABC issues took center stage with operators citing challenges with the alcohol transfer process of wine and beer between locations. They also discussed at length, problems with the ABC permitting process.   As a result of this...
August 28, 2013 (Washington, DC) - In a press release distributed this morning, the District's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) unveiled a new alcoholic beverage warning sign that will be posted in approximately 1,800 ABC licensed establishments in the District. Licensees are required to post the new sign in a conspicuous place on the licensed premises by Wednesday, Nov. 27. The new sign allows ABRA to address several warnings and requirements for consuming alcoholic beverages in one posted notice and will also reduce the number of notices an ABC establishment is...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Betsy Allman, Policy Advisor202.331.5990 or betsy@ramw.org                                              Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington                                 ...
RAMW Backs Mayor’s Budget Proposal to Extend Alcohol Service Hours in Testimony Provided DC Council Committee Three years ago, between January 17 and 21, 2009, the nation’s capital hosted an unprecedented number of visitors for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Also unprecedented was the emergency legislationapproved by the D.C. Council allowing for extended alcoholic beverage service hours at the city’s restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels. More than 280 alcohol-licensed establishments chose to participate during this extraordinary five-day hospitality...
Sunday 8amAlcoholic Beverage Service Now Legal  Duein large part to RAMW’s efforts, on-premise licensees are now allowed to servealcoholic beverages on Sundays beginning at 8:00am if approved by The ABCBoard.  Forthose that are eligible, the application to file a change of hours is on lineat www.abra.dc.gov and THERE IS NO APPLICATION FEE. Clickhere to see full letter from ABRA for details.
Due in largepart to RAMW’s efforts, on-premise licensees are now allowed to serve alcoholicbeverages on Sundays beginning at 8:00am if approved by The ABC Board.Forthose that are eligible, the application to file a change of hours is on lineat www.abra.dc.gov and  THERE IS NO APPLICATION FEE. Clickhere to see full letter from ABRA for details.
ABRA has stepped up inspections and enforcement of the regulations requiring import permits. A violation will likely result in a $2,000 fine, and possibly a suspension of your license.As an ABC licensee in the District, it is your responsibility to assure that the alcoholic beverages served in your business are purchased either from D.C. licensed wholesalers, or have been brought into the District and delivered to you under an import permit issued by ABRA. IT IS NOT THE OUT OF STATE WHOLESALER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROCURE THE IMPORT PERMIT, it is yours. An Import permit is required for...
Corkage Law Passes In Virginia House78-18…With A Nudge From RAMWFebruary 22, 2011- With the passage in the Virginia House ofDelegates, SB1292, aka The Corkage Bill, will now go to the Governor’s officefor final signature. There is every indication that the Governor will sign thisBill.Corkage, which is common in many jurisdictions across the country including theDistrict of Columbia, will allow restaurants the choice of offering corkageservice to their patrons. This optional service will allow patrons to bringwine into an ABC licensed establishment for consumption on the premises...
 Former RAMW Chair (2007-9) Paul Cohn testifies in front of the DC Committee on Finance and Revenue and details how extending restaurant service hours during President Obama’s inauguration benefited the DC restaurant industry.Date: Feb 2009.  Issue Status: Stemming from the success of the Inauguration, for 2009 ABRA is allowing on-premise ABC licensees to remainopen one extra hour and serve alcoholic beverages the night before DCand federal holidays.PDF File
  RAMW President Lynne Breaux testifies in front of the DC Committee on Public Works and Transportation in support of Fred Moosally’s appointment as new ABRA director.Date: June 2009.  Issue Status: Mr. Moosally was confirmed as ABRA director in July 2009.PDF File  RAMW President Lynne Breaux testifies at a public hearing on the Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Act of 2008, outlining the excessive fees and culture of over-regulation persistent within ABRA.Date: Nov 2008.  Issue Status: The 2008 Act passed and went into effect March 2009, butwith several positive...
RAMW works hard to represent the interests of the metropolitan DC area restaurant community to local governments and representatives.  We do this through direct lobbying of elected officials, information campaigns, and analyses of the large tax and regulatory burdens restaurants face.  Another vital way we voice the concerns of our members is testimony in front of government committees and at public hearings.  Below are some examples of testimony from RAMW’s leadership on key restaurant issues (grouped by issue). DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) RAMW...
RAMW works hard to represent the interests of the metropolitan DC area restaurant community to local governments and representatives.  We do this through direct lobbying of elected officials, information campaigns, and analyses of the large tax and regulatory burdens restaurants face.  Another vital way we voice the concerns of our members is testimony in front of government committees and at public hearings.  Below are some examples of testimony from RAMW’s leadership on key restaurant issues (grouped by issue).DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)RAMW...
 There are two exciting new changes that can be found on the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration’s (ABRA’s) website.  These two changes are designed to improvecommunications between the Agency and the public, including licensees. The first change is ABRA’s new E-Feedback Form .  This form is intended to allow licensees and members of the publicto submit their suggestions to improve the agency both on-line and inreal time from the ABRA website. ABRA looks forward to receiving yourcomments regarding how they can continue to improve.  The E-...
New ABRA Information Available Online There are two exciting new changes that can be found on the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration’s (ABRA’s) website.  These two changes are designed to improvecommunications between the Agency and the public, including licensees. The first change is ABRA’s new E-Feedback Form.  This form is intended to allow licensees and members of the publicto submit their suggestions to improve the agency both on-line and inreal time from the ABRA website. ABRA looks forward to receiving yourcomments regarding how they can...
December 18, 2008 - The DC City Council passed emergency legislation extending the hours of operation and alcohol service from January 17th until 11:59 PM, January 21st.  In order to participate in the extended hours you must file an application with ABRA by January 7th at 4:00 PM. The specifics of the extension are as follows: All on-premise establishments in the District are eligible to participate that either 1.) do not have a voluntary agreement or 2.) have voluntary agreements that do not specify hours of operation. Hours of operation may be continuous throughout the Inaugural...

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