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RAMW Backs Mayor's Budget Proposal to Extend Alcohol Service Hours

November 30, 1999
1625 K Street, NW | Suite #210 | Washington, DC 20006 | Tel—202.331.5990 | Fax—202.659.8701 |

Monday, April 9, 2012


Contact: Betsy Allman, RAMW Policy Advisor
202.331.5990 or

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington
Backs Mayor’s Budget Proposal to Extend Alcohol Service Hours
in Testimony Provided D.C. Council Committee

Washington, D.C. – Three years ago, between January 17 and 21, 2009, the nation’s capital hosted an unprecedented number of visitors for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Also unprecedented was the emergency legislation approved by the D.C. Council allowing for extended alcoholic beverage service hours at the city’s restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels. More than 280 alcohol-licensed establishments chose to participate during this extraordinary five-day hospitality period and there was not a single arrest or incident arising from the extended venue service hours.

On March 29, the D.C. Council Committee on Human Services, which has responsibility for alcohol regulation, held a public hearing to gauge reaction to Mayor Vincent Gray’s FY 2013 budget proposal to extend alcoholic beverage service by one hour, to 3:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday evenings and 4:00 a.m. on weekends, beginning October 1. The mayor’s proposed city operating budget also renews the Presidential Inauguration service option for both 2013 and 2017.

Lynne Breaux, President of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), submitted testimony to the Committee on Human Services “wholeheartedly and enthusiastically” supporting these initiatives, joining a number of business operators backing the pending budget plan.

“It is clear that extended service hours will generate significant new revenue for the District,” Ms. Breaux recently asserted. “In addition to a projected $5.3 million increase in sales taxes, the proposal will also generate growth in other business services during these hours. This enhanced economic activity and the resulting employment opportunities will both provide needed funds for balancing the city budget and create additional disposable income for local employees.”

Keith Sellars, President and CEO of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, joined RAMW in advocating for the modest extension of service hours by adding, “The WDCEP supports this proposal as we believe it will strengthen the city’s burgeoning nighttime economy.”

Ms. Breaux has also publicly noted that the extension will not result in every establishment remaining open later. “Not every restaurant or bar is a likely candidate for extended operational hours. But allowing for the option will further the District’s reputation as a dynamic dining and entertainment destination offering the amenities of a world-class city.”


To review Ms. Breaux’s testimony please
click here or contact RAMW for additional information.