If you ever wanted to dance or drink until the sun rises, this may be the weekend to check out a bar or restaurant in the District.
The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration has granted 42 bars and restaurants permission to remain open round-the-clock on Monday, Columbus Day, and serve alcohol until 4 a.m., the first test of a new city policy permitting extended alcohol sales before holidays.
As part of the District’s fiscal 2013 budget that took effect Oct. 1, D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and the D.C. Council agreed to permit more late-night partying on the nights before official federal and District holidays. The change, a priority of Gray’s, was designed to raise an additional $3 million in revenue from alcohol sales.
But before bars and restaurants can take advantage of the extended hours, they had to register with the alcohol board and submit details about how they planned to control potential crowds and noise.
Fred P. Moosally, director of ABRA, said his agency received 57 applications for extended hours for the night before Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Of those, 42 have been granted permission to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. and operate 24 hours into the holiday. An additional five establishments received limited approval so they continue to abide by existing restrictions on their liquor licenses from voluntary agreements with neighbors.
The list of establishments that are allowed to serve alcohol until 4 a.m., two hours later than the current 2 a.m. closing time, from Sunday into Monday, includes several of the largest clubs in the city. The U Street Music Hall, Ultrabar, Cobalt, Café Asia, 18th Street Lounge, Lima Restaurant and Lounge, Opera Ultra Lounge and even Dangerously Delicious Pies DC have all been granted approval to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. Monday and on subsequent holidays through the end of the year.
But it was unclear Thursday whether all the establishments that have been granted permission plan to keep their doors open later.
If they do, because the approval only applies for the night prior to the holiday, those establishments will be serving alcohol later Sunday night than they can on Friday or Saturday nights. Under existing D.C. law, alcohol sales must still end at 3 a.m. on those nights.
The council, however, also permitted approved establishments to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. and remain open 24-hours a day throughout the weekend — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — around New Year’s and prior to Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day. Moosally said that provision will be in effect in 2013.
The budget also permits extended alcohol sales for the week surrounding the presidential inauguration in January.
When Gray unveiled his budget in the spring, he initially sought to permit bars and restaurants to serve alcohol until 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends. Gray argued the change would boost the tourism industry while generating an additional $5 million for city coffers.
But council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and some neighborhood groups opposed Gray’s plan, arguing that it would lead to more noise and undermine residents’ quality of life.
As a compromise, former council chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) devised the current plan for permitting extended hours only before holidays.
The full list of restaurants and establishments granted permission for the extended hours is below.
(3)Boundary Stone Public House
(4)Old Ebbitt Grill
(5)U Street Music Hall
(6)18th Street Lounge
(8)Eye Bar/Garden of Eden
(14)Phase I of Dupont
(15)Rock N Roll Hotel
(20)Dangerously Delicious DC
(22)Jr’s Bar and Brill
(23)Dupont Italian Kitchen
(24)Cobalt/30 Degrees/Level One
(25) Bachelor’s Mill/Back Door Pub
(26)Dirty Martini Inn Bar/Dirty Bar
(27)Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar
(28)Jackie Lee’s Lounge
(29)Phase I in SE
(34)Opera Ultra Lounge
(35)Lima Restaurant and Lounge
(42)Music and Arts Club