ABRA issues alcoholic beverage licenses to hotels in the District. ABRA issues two types of licenses to hotels:
- On-premises Retailer Class C: Permits the sale, service and consumption of spirits, beer and wine at a hotel.
- On-premises Retailer Class D: Permits the sale, service and consumption of beer and wine at a hotel.
A licensed hotel is permitted to sell and serve open containers of alcoholic beverages in the dining rooms, lounges, banquet halls and the private rooms of registered guests. A licensed hotel may also sell or serve closed containers of alcoholic beverages in the private rooms of registered guests.
In addition, a holder of a hotel license can apply for an off-premises class B retailer's license to have a beer and wine store located inside of a hotel. The store can have no public access to the street or the outside of the hotel's building. The store can sell single containers of beer, malt liquor, or ale, excluding miniatures, in sizes of 70 ounces or less. In order to obtain an off-premises license, the hotel licensee would need to file a new application for an off-premises class B license.
Hotels can obtain 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 hotel to either provide live entertainment, dancing or to charge a cover. Hotels 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 hotel to sell, serve and allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages on outdoor public or private space.
- Brew Pub Permit: Allows a hotel to brew beer on or adjacent to the premises and to sell the beer for consumption at the licensed hotel. Also allows the licensee to sell the beer to wholesalers.
- Wine Pub Permit: Allows a hotel to manufacture wine on or adjacent to the premises and to sell the wine for consumption at the licensed hotel. Also allows the licensee to sell the wine to wholesalers.
- Distillery Pub Permit: Allows a hotel to manufacture, distill and store craft liquors on the licensed premises or in an area immediately adjacent to the premises.
A restaurant operating inside of a hotel is eligible to obtain a hotel license if the restaurant has a written agreement with the hotel to sell and serve alcoholic beverages in the hotel’s dining rooms, lounges, banquet halls or private rooms of registered guests, etc.
Learn more about licensing fees on ABRA's website.
Filing Quarterly Statements
Hotels are required to file quarterly statements with ABRA to report the previous quarter's food and alcohol sales and expenditures. File quarterly statements by the following dates:
- April 30 reporting January–March (Q1)
- July 30 reporting April–June (Q2)
- October 30 reporting July–September (Q3)
- January 30 reporting October–December (Q4)
- ABC License Application Process and ABC License Application
- File Quarterly Statements
- Extended Holiday Hours
- Gifts and Loans Disclosure Form
- Entertainment Endorsement
- Summer Garden/Sidewalk Cafe Endorsements
- ABC Manager License Form
- ABC Manager Renewal Form
- Attorney/Agent Designation Form
- Security Plan Form
- Stipulated License
If you are making any changes to an already licensed business, find the proper form here:
- One Day Substantial Change
- Change of Hours
- Change License Class
- Change Corporate Name
- Change Trade Name
- Change of Officers, Directors, Partners
- Change of Ownership (complete ABC License application)
- License Safekeeping
- Settlement Agreement Amendment and Termination Form
- Update Contact Information
- ABC Quick Guide: Hotel Licensees
- ABC Quick Guide: Minors and ABC Establishments
- ABC Quick Guide: Books and Records and Food Sales Requirements
- ABC Quick Guide: Gift and Loan Rules
- ABC Quick Guide: Security Plans
- ABC Quick Guide: Amending or Terminating Settlement Agreements
- Best Practices for Nightlife Establishments
- ABRA Noise Prevention Resources