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Nats Opening Day, Mayor’s New Order on Masks in DC, and Regional Updates

July 23, 2020

Today marks the long awaited opening day for our World Series Champs, The Nationals, where they will kick off their season at Nationals Park against the NY Yankees. While it just won’t be the same, it will hopefully be a tiny moment of joy in your day and will encourage folks to dine outside, indoors, or grab takeout to bring home and watch the game to root on the Nats. We are hopeful this day can serve as a sign for good days ahead as we move through these layered challenging times.  

In DC, to encourage public health and safety and ensure we keep moving forward, Mayor Bowser issued a new Executive Order requiring people to wear a mask when they leave their house. Businesses are now required to post signage on their exterior doors stating that a person may not enter unless the person is wearing a mask. Click here for signage from the city. In addition, the business, office building, or other establishment shall exclude or attempt to eject persons who are not wearing masks or who remove their required masks. Guests of your restaurants are ONLY permitted to remove the mask when they are actually eating or drinking, which means guests and employees MUST wear a mask at all other times whether indoors or outdoors. 

We recognize that this can put you in the difficult position of enforcer, and we encourage you to have additional signage throughout your restaurant reminding people of the proper protocol. If you are having trouble with a patron who is refusing to abide by the mask and social distancing rules, we encourage you to proactively reach out to either ABRA or DOH. If you have a liquor license you can email ABRA at or call them at 202-329-6347. If you do not have a liquor license, you can contact DOH at

While Mayor Bowser recognized that most businesses are going above and beyond to protect the safety of their staff and customers, there are bad actors and she is encouraging the general public to report bad actors directly to ABRA. Inspectors are able to issue fines on the spot if they find a violation, as well as remove or limit licenses or permits. While this is a burden on you as an operator, it also hopefully gives you additional talking points as you ask and remind guests to wear masks according to the Mayor’s Order. Employers are still required to provide masks to their employees. 

This order also officially extends the State of Emergency, Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency until October 9th. The Mayor has stated she will do this in many previous press conferences, so this might not seem like new information to you, but she issued the actual Order yesterday. As a reminder, this means specific relief measures tied to the Emergency will be extended. These include: 

  • Expanded outdoor dining allowances on public space until October 9th (expanded outdoor dining on private space is allowed until October 25th).
  • 15% cap on third party delivery fees until October 9th
  • Rent freezes are in place for retail tenants (which includes restaurants) until October 9th 

Click here for the full Order, which is effective immediately.

Also, next week in DC, we are hosting a Zoom Meeting with At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds on Thursday, July 30th at 10am. This is a great opportunity to connect with the Councilmember Bonds and share experience about running a restaurant especially during this tumultuous time. If you would like to participate, please email for more information. 

Later today, the Council will hold the final vote on the Local Budget Act (LBA), which is the financial portion of the Budget. We will share any important details, however we predict that through creative and bold action, Chairman Mendelson was able to eliminate the proposed 3% advertising tax and any tax increases for that matter.  

On the national scope, One Fair Wage and ROC-United have released new collateral advocating for the elimination of the tip credit in New York, and will likely use similar talking points to further their agenda nationwide. We are not sure if this conversation will turn its focus to our region, but given the history of 77, we wanted to share this information so that you are aware. At this time when business operations are so strained and you are struggling to employ people at any level, we stress the importance of allowing autonomy over your operations.  While some of you are considering adopting any and all options as you try to keep your businesses and staff afloat during these very challenging times, the choices on how to operate should be yours and not ever mandated or imposed by special interest organizations outside of our market.  

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to us at

Be safe. Be kind. Wear a mask.