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It looks like caps on restaurant liquor licenses will soon be a thing of the past in D.C. This morning, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board announced that it will end the 27-year-old restaurant liquor license moratorium in Georgetown. Businesses can begin applying for restaurant liquor licenses on April 9. Tavern and nightclub licenses will continue to be capped at six.
Restaurant moratoriums in Adams Morgan, Dupont East, and Dupont West have all been lifted in recent years, and Glover Park is widely expected to follow suit soon. (Again, restrictions on nightclubs and taverns remain.)
The switch in policy in Georgetown is in large part thanks to a change of heart by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E and other resident groups. After years supporting a cap on alcohol-serving restaurants, this is the first time that neighborhood organizations have supported getting rid of it.
Georgetown leaders say that the nightlife nuisances that the moratorium was created to address are no longer problems. Meanwhile, the moratorium has kept Georgetown from partaking in D.C.’s dining boom to the same extent as non-moratorium neighborhoods like Shaw, 14th Street NW, or H Street NE.
“We were sort of the lone holdout,” Georgetown ANC Commissioner Tom Birch previously told Y&H. “We wanted to signal that times have changed, the situation is different, and it just didn’t seem to make sense any longer.”
Read more about the Georgetown moratorium in a recent Young & Hungry column.