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Restrictions on Georgetown Historic District Taverns Temporarily Lifted

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Alcoholic beverage licenses may be transferred in historic area for first time in decades.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – For the first time in nearly 20 years, restrictions have temporarily been lifted on alcoholic beverage licenses for taverns in the Georgetown Historic District. The change occurred after the number of licensed taverns within the historic area fell below a legislative cap of six.

As a result, taverns located in the Georgetown Historic District are permitted to transfer alcoholic beverage licenses to new owners and new locations within the area. An existing restaurant in the historic district will also be able to apply to become a tavern or nightclub in the neighborhood. Applications to make any of the changes would need to be filed with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for consideration by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board).

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act and Rules Reform Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. law 10-122) freezes the transfer or sale of tavern and nightclub licenses in the Georgetown Historic District when there are six or more taverns and/or nightclubs licensed in the area. On Wednesday, October 30, the number of taverns in Georgetown fell to five after the Board canceled the tavern license for Saloun—previously located at 3239 M St., NW— for not renewing its license by the deadline on Monday, September 30. There are no nightclubs currently licensed in Georgetown.

The ability to transfer tavern licenses will end once the legislative cap of six taverns and/or nightclubs is reached in the Georgetown Historic District. Applications for alcoholic beverage licenses are available online.

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