Washington, DC


Photo by angela n.

From ABRA (Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration):

“In accordance with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s lifting of the District’s “Stay-at-Home Order” and the start of Phase One, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Thursday adopted emergency rulemaking modifying the current suspension of on-premises alcohol beverage sales to allow for outdoor dining. ABC licensees are able to start offering table service for outdoor dining effective Friday, May 29 at 8:00 a.m., including on existing rooftops.

Establishments with existing sidewalk cafes and summer gardens making no changes to the perimeter of the licensed space do not need to register with the ABC Board and may start operating tomorrow.

Additionally, the ABC Board adopted emergency rulemaking allowing ABC licensees to sell and serve alcoholic beverages in new and expanded outdoor dining space. Potential options include patios, courtyards, alleys, sidewalks, and surface parking lots. All new and expanded space must be on ground or street level.

Key guidelines include:

The selling and onsite consumption of alcohol and operating hours are limited to 8:00 a.m. and midnight, seven days a week.

Establishments are required to implement a reservation system to mitigate concentrated crowding. Reservations may be done online, by phone, or on-site. Contact information for at least one (1) person of each party should be collected to assist with contact tracing by DC Health as needed.

All persons must be seated. Parties are limited to six (6) persons per table.

Licensees must use a food menu at all times featuring at least three (3) prepared food items and require the purchase of at least one (1) food item per table. Licensees may partner with food operators.

Self-service buffets are prohibited.

Patrons are only allowed into the interior of a building to use restroom facilities or to access a rooftops or summer gardens. No service inside.

Wait staff must be provided and wear face masks or coverings. Patrons should be requested to wear face masks or coverings at all times when not eating or drinking. Employees must wear gloves when handling ready to eat foods.

Background and recorded music may be played at a conversational level. Live music and entertainment is prohibited.

Canopies and tents may be used provided they only have one (1) side flap. Umbrellas are permitted.”

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