Liquor License Moratorium on the Way Out


Another item GM missed while he was taking his holiday break is that the liquor license moratorium appears to be on the way out.

After the initial agreement between the BID, the ANC, and the Citizens Association failed to get endorsed as written back in December, it appeared that all that remained was some last minute haggling before a final agreement could be reached. But the whole arrangement could have just as easily fallen apart. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and a modified agreement between the parties was struck and subsequently endorsed by vote. (Full disclosure: GM is on the board of CAG, but was not involved directly in the negotiations and was even out of town when the board voted yes.)

All that remains now is for the ABC board to accept the agreement and end the moratorium.

It’s really remarkable how far we’ve come on this. GM felt like he was the only lonely voice calling for the moratorium to end for years. He’s not used to people actually agreeing with him.

So the first neighborhood to enact a liquor license moratorium will become the last the finally shed it. If you want to put a historic perspective on it, you could argue that this is really the last echo of the (misguided if you ask GM) decision to raise the drinking age to 21. DC refused to follow the other states for so long that in the meantime it became a magnet for 18-21 year olds looking to get plastered. And Georgetown was the primary target of this audience. The spike in bars targeting teenagers is what drove the moratorium in the first place.

But after DC finally accepted the inevitable and raised the drinking age too, it still took several decades for the effect to wear off. Now there are no more college bars in Georgetown, and the rest of the city has long surpassed us in terms of sophisticated dining. Will eliminating the moratorium fix that over night? No. But it sure will help.

1 Comment

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One response to “Liquor License Moratorium on the Way Out

  1. I agree with you 100% on this issue.

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