WASHINGTON, November 20, 2013 — The Washington D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is meeting today to consider rewriting the rules on alcohol licenses in the Dupont Circle neighborhood in the District.
Since 1990, D.C. has kept moratoriums limiting the number of licenses issued to taverns, nightclubs, retailers, restaurants, and multipurpose facilities in certain areas. A considerably larger number of licenses have been made available to restaurants as opposed to taverns, which has resulted in a number of would-be bars having to serve food to qualify as a restaurant and receive a liquor license.
Supporters of the bans claim that it is intended to decrease late-night noise and reduce the crime rate. On the other side of the argument is the claim that these limits are bad for business, and that they force businesses to compete against each other to be allowed to serve alcohol without the burden of food sales.
These bans exist in the Adams Morgan, Glover Park, Dupont Circle, and Georgetown areas. The P Street NW area recently had its ban lifted, and has shown no evidence of increasing crime or late night noise. Supporters of repeal hope that this trend will hold for the entire District, and that it will increase foot traffic in the neighborhoods. Furthermore, they claim that rewriting the law would increase the amount of business done by all retailers in the area, not just the local bars.
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