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Alcoholic Beverage Control and Washington DC

The DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board adopted an emergency rulemaking prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption starting Thursday, March 19th at 4pm. You cannot serve alcoholic beverages to people while they wait for their food order. This is in effect through the duration of either or both the Mayor’s Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency.  Please note for delivery and takeout of alcoholic beverages: they must be provided in sealed container and a beer with a lime in the top does not count as a seal. Establishments...
PLEASE READ THIS IN ITS ENTIRETY. Tuesday, March 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. Included is a provision that allows ABC-licensed restaurants and taverns to sell beer, wine, and spirits in closed containers for carry-out and/or delivery to DC residences in conjunction with the purchase of one or more prepared food items. Before an eligible restaurant or tavern may sell beer, wine, and spirits in closed containers for carry-out and delivery, they must register...
All pub crawl permits for events scheduled to take place in Washington, DC now through March 31, 2020 have been revoked effective immediately. The 6-0 decision by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board was made based on guidance from the District’s Department of Health (DOH) that all non-essential mass gatherings of more than 1,000 persons be cancelled to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Mayor’s Orders 2020-045 and 2020-046 indicate that the spread of COVID-19 represents an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of District...
(WASHINGTON, DC) – February 21, 2020 – How businesses sell, serve, and transport alcohol is changing. Four alcohol laws — introduced and signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser — focused on boosting access to DC-made products, fostering creativity and collaboration, creating parity within the manufacturing landscape, and alleviating administrative burdens for licensees became effective Friday, February 21, 2020. Notable improvements by law include: Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Amendment Act of 2019 Persons 18+ may deliver alcoholic...
Original content: VinePair By Jennifer Simonson Chile runs along South America’s western edge from the dry desert in the north to a field of glaciers in the south. Rugged mountains, fertile valleys, never-ending coastline, rumbling volcanoes and scorched sand dunes all clash to provide this long, thin country with a captivating landscape. For winemakers, that landscape is more than captivating, it is a grape grower’s paradise. The low cost of land, rare interference from vine pests and diseases, dependable dry, warm summers, and nearby mountains providing a regular supply of...
Original content: Forbes By Cathy Huyghe Contributor If you’re a wine lover, and if you’re heads-up about current events and world news, then the New Year hasn’t been very celebratory so far. The bad news seems overwhelming and far-reaching, between devastating fires in Australia to bureaucrat types in Washington and Europe debating tariffs and deciding the fate of so many wine businesses we love. It seems overwhelming, partly because it feels so out of our control. I’d argue that, despite the large-scale ramifications of current events, there are things that...
Original content: Forbes By Jill Barth Members of the Wine Origins Alliance yesterday submitted a jointly signed letter for the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) public comment period on tariffs in response to aircraft subsidies and France’s Digital Services Tax. The United States on December 2, 2019 threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French goods in retaliation for a digital services tax it says is discriminatory. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images) This action was followed by a second letter sent to...
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Get your staff up to speed on safe alcohol service. Holiday celebrations can bring in a lot of business for restaurants and bars. According to market research firm Technomic, alcohol sales during the fourth quarter of the year can account for up to 30% of alcohol sales overall (retail and restaurant). As operations get busy, staff members need to stay focused on serving alcohol responsibly, says Jay Lerdal, program manager for the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Alcohol training program. During holiday...
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...
(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....
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...
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...
 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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