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Change is coming to Georgetown. Or, at least, more booze is coming.

In a ruling handed down Wednesday, D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board unanimously voted to amend a decades-old liquor license moratorium in Georgetown.

Since 1989, Georgetown has been notoriously stingy with its liquor licenses—at any given point, no more than 61 licenses were issued in the neighborhood. But Wednesday’s ABC Board ruling will add seven licenses, extending the allowable number to 68.

New license applications will be accepted by the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.

ABC Board member Nick Alberti, subbing for Chairman Charles Brodsky, argued that the increase would not adversely affect the neighborhood, as some residents claimed at last Wednesday’s public hearing.

“The implementation of seven new [licenses] would not adversely affect the public peace, order, and quiet or the moratorium,” Alberti said. “Specifically, testimony revealed that adding seven restaurant licenses would create a healthy balance of ABC establishments in the commercial mix of businesses in Georgetown.”

The Board will revisit Georgetown’s moratorium in three years to evaluate if any additional changes need to be made.

In a separate decision, the Board also denied a motion filed by the Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG) to place seating restrictions on restaurants with Class C and Class D licenses along Prospect St. NW. To support the decision, Alberti cited over 100 letters mailed to the Board protesting the proposed seat limitations.

“[The proposal] could inhibit the economic development of the neighborhood,” he said.

Photo by brostad. Creative Commons Attribution License.