Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration

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Phase Two | Reopen DC

Phase Two expands upon Phase One allowances and permits alcohol establishments to begin offering limited indoor dining.

ABC licensees are not required to register with the District to reopen their existing indoor space.

Establishments must continue to register with the District to add new or expanded outdoor dining on public and private space. 

Key Provisions


  • Select on-premises retailer licensees (Convention Center food and alcohol retailers, hotels, multipurpose facilities, nightclubs, private clubs, restaurants, and taverns); common carriers, and manufacturers with an on-site sales and consumption permit; caterers; and temporary license holders.


  • Indoor dining occupancy must be limited to 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load or seating capacity on the certificate of occupancy. Staff and outdoor seating excluded. There is no percentage maximum for outdoor dining.

Service Hours

  • The selling and on-premises consumption of alcohol and operating hours are limited to 6:00 a.m. to midnight, daily.
  • Extended holiday hours do not apply during Phase Two.

Physical Distancing

  • All guests must be seated. Parties are limited to six (6) persons per table and tables must be at least six (6) feet apart.
  • Guests may be seated at bars. Parties must be at least six (6) feet apart from one another. No standing at bars is allowed.
  • Communal tables may be used if parties are seated at least six (6) feet apart from one another and divisions are clearly marked.
  • Bartenders may not staff or utilize bars where guests are seated.
  • Parties waiting to be seated indoors must wait outside the establishment and stay at least six (6) feet from other parties.


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

Food and Drink

  • Licensees must offer a food menu at all times containing at least three (3) prepared food items and require the purchase of at least one (1) item per table. Licensees may partner with food operators. Self-service buffets and “BYOB” are prohibited.

Music and Entertainment

  • Activities that require patrons to be in close proximity to one another such as dancing and darts are prohibited.
  • Background and recorded music may be played at a conversational level. Live music and entertainment is prohibited.

Face Masks and Coverings

  • All employees, including kitchen staff, must wear face masks or coverings at all times. Guests should wear face masks or coverings at all times except for when eating or drinking.

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