abra

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
 

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Taverns

ABRA issues licenses to taverns in the District. A tavern is generally defined as an establishment that:

  • Serves food and alcoholic beverages
  • Plays recorded or background music
  • Possesses a dance floor not to exceed 140 square feet without an entertainment endorsement

ABRA issues two types of licenses to taverns:

  • On-premises Retailer Class C: Permits the sale, service and consumption of spirits, beer, and wine at a tavern
  • On-premises Retailer Class D: Permits the sale, service and consumption of beer and wine at a tavern

Taverns can obtain additional permits to expand their scope of operations. Permits can be applied for either at the time of initial application or after the license is issued:

  • Entertainment Endorsement: There are three different types of entertainment endorsement categories that allow a tavern to either provide live entertainment, dancing, or to charge a cover. Taverns that want to provide entertainment, dancing, or charge a cover can apply for one, two or all three endorsement categories.
  • Summer Garden or Sidewalk Café Endorsement: Allows a tavern to sell, serve, and allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages on outdoor public or private space.
  • Brew Pub Permit: Allows a tavern to brew beer on or adjacent to the premises and to sell the beer for consumption at the licensed tavern. Also allows the licensee to sell the beer to wholesalers.
  • Wine Pub Permit: Allows a tavern to manufacture wine on or adjacent to the premises and to sell the wine for consumption at the licensed tavern. Also allows the licensee to sell the wine to wholesalers.
  • Distillery Pub Permit: Allows a tavern to manufacture, distill and store craft liquors on the licensed premises or in an area immediately adjacent to the premises.

Learn more about licensing fees on ABRA's website. 

Tavern Forms

If you are making any changes to an already licensed business, find the proper form here:

Additional Resources