“ABC Board Eliminates Georgetown Moratorium Zone Businesses can apply for restaurant liquor licenses in Georgetown beginning April 9.”

by Prince Of Petworth March 30, 2016 at 10:35 am 8 Comments


From a press release:

“The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) announced this morning that it will eliminate restrictions on certain liquor licenses in Georgetown beginning April 9.

As a result, there will no longer be a limit on the number of liquor licenses that can be issued to restaurants and multipurpose facilities—such as theatres and galleries—in the neighborhood. Businesses can apply for the liquor licenses beginning April 9.

A limit remains in effect on the number of liquor licenses that can be issued to taverns and nightclubs in Georgetown

due to a separate law in the area. The law, which only permits six tavern and nightclubs in the neighborhood, was enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia and cannot be amended or rescinded by the Board. All six licenses are currently filled.

In making its decision, the Board considered all of the public comments it received on the moratorium. Input from Georgetown community and business groups supported lifting the moratorium on restaurant licenses in the neighborhood since issues of noise, trash and vandalism—the original catalysts for the regulation—have improved.

The Georgetown Moratorium Zone has been in effect for 27 years. It is the oldest and largest neighborhood liquor license moratorium in the District, extending 1,800 feet in all directions from the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and N St., NW.

Until April 9, the moratorium will continue to cap the number of liquor licenses that can be issued to restaurants at 68 and multipurpose facilities at one, among other restrictions.”

  • Anon

    I think it’s laughable that some folks in the Georgetown BID actually think that this move would change the course of action in Georgetown.

  • Andre

    They’re hoping that it can drive up demand for commercial rent.

  • ST21

    Not sure how much this really changes things there. It’s a shame that they have let Gtown become basically a glorified shopping mall. The surrounding neighborhood is still beautiful but M Street is far removed from its glory days as other neighborhoods in DC that were once after thoughts are now hot spots. Back in the day the social hubs were M Street and Conn. Ave in DuPont and now they probably aren’t even in the top 5. DuPont at least has the metro and downtown nearby so they can probably bounce back pretty quickly if they want but Gtown is tricky. No metro, very few businesses in the neighborhood, etc..
    When I was a kid and my Dad told me he was taking me to Georgetown on Saturday morning I would get so hyped. M street, the Potomac right there, the canals, all the cool head shops and record stores, bars, restaurants. It was the best. They need to get back to their funky and unique roots instead of opening high end shops at basically every retail space. No more Rhino, Saloon, Garretts, The Guards, Mr. Smiths, Third Edition, Pizza Uno (I might be the only person who loves Pizza Uno), and I’m sure others I am not even thinking of. Those shops are basically the only businesses willing to pay the asking rents LL’s are looking for and it’s a shame that the neighborhood has allowed it. This Moratorium Lift is a step in the right direction and I’m glad they are realizing they need to make some changes.

    • Philippe Lecheval

      The neighborhood has lost nearly all appeal to me. The only reason I set foot in Georgetown is to see a movie, and even then, I drive to the movie theater and leave immediately afterward.

      • General Grant Circle

        I was there recently when a friend was in town and staying nearby. We went to some bar near the school. It was miserable (the actual bar was quite nice, the people though…) The second we finished our drinks I suggested we go and rather than wait for an Uber, hailed the first cab out of there!

  • Mars

    Walk down M Street on any given Sunday afternoon, and you’ll realize that G-town is far from dead. Sure, it’s no longer the trendiest part of the city, but it’s always packed, and new restaurants are coming in all the time. Plus, the lack of a metro stop isn’t a deterrent because let’s face it… Metro sucks, especially on the weekend.
    M street is always buzzing because it’s considered “safe” by tourists, and the location is more convenient for suburbanites that live across the Key bridge. The hipsters and yuppies that don’t think it’s cool are probably right, but the suburbanites, rich Georgetowners, and tourists that flood its streets have deep pockets, and are driving the regional economy. Gtown will keep evolving, for better or worse, but it’s not going anywhere.

    • Anon

      I think you just perfectly described why so many folks loathe the idea of setting foot in Georgetown on the weekend. Who wants to play frogger with tourists and moneyed suburbanites unless absolutely necessary?

  • Joshua

    No one goes to Georgetown anymore. It’s too crowded.


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