Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration

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West Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone


The West Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone (WDMZ) has been in effect, with modifications, since 1994. The moratorium maintains a cap of nightclub licenses (CN/DN) licenses at zero (0).

While the WDMZ was slated to expire on October 27, 2019, it has remained in effect through Board’s emergency rulemaking.


See map below.


The WDMZ exempts:

  • Hotel CH/DH licenses
  • Establishments on the 1500 block of Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
  • Establishments located in, or to be located on, the New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. site of One Dupont Circle, N.W.


In June 2019, ANC 2B requested the ABC Board (1) renew the moratorium for an additional three years; (2) maintain the existing cap of zero (0) on nightclub licenses (CN/DN), and (3) create a new exemption for the area known as the “Dupont Underground”.

Following a public hearing and comment period and publishing of the proposed rulemaking to the DC Register, the Notice of Final Rulemaking for the WDMZ was transmitted to the DC Council for the required 90-day review period. The ABC Board will adopt the rules as final when the review period expires on March 12, 2020, or sooner if approved by DC Council resolution in advance of then.