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“Introduction of the Reopen Washington, DC Alcohol Act”


Photo by Rafa Aremu

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser released the following statement on the Reopen Washington, DC Alcohol Act, which was filed with the Council of the District of Columbia. The legislation proposes several innovative approaches to help rebuild the District’s economy by providing businesses and patrons with expanded opportunities; bringing essential services, including new full-service grocery stores, to Wards 7 and 8; and maintaining the city’s reputation as a top destination to live, work, and dine out.

“I have charged my Administration with developing bold, innovative solutions to ensure our businesses and the workers they employ can thrive beyond this pandemic. As we continue to focus on boosting the District’s economy, this legislation will move us in the right direction by removing hurdles for businesses and providing new ways to bring in revenue. Since the public health emergency began last March, the District has led the nation in pivoting to support restaurants and food service establishments through various funding opportunities, including the $100 million Bridge Fund, the $33 million DC Small Business Microgrant Program, the Ward 7 and 8 Microgrant Program, the Small Business Resiliency Fund, and the Streatery Winter Ready Grant Program. As we move toward a new normal, we will continue creating more innovative programs that help local businesses make it to the other side of this pandemic.”

Proposed provisions in the Reopen Washington, DC Alcohol Act include:

Extending programs introduced on an emergency basis, including Streateries
Establishing a Commercial Lifestyle License that allows patrons to walk around and consume alcohol purchased from on-premises establishments within predefined boundaries
Creating a new 25 percent full-service grocery store Class A License to help attract new full service grocery stores to Wards 7 and 8; applicants interested in using this license to open a Class A grocery store in Wards 1-6 must first operate such a store in Wards 7 and 8 for at least six months
Amending several licensing operational requirements

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