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ABC Board Votes to Renew, Modify Adams Morgan Moratorium

Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Liquor licenses now available to restaurants in the neighborhood.

(Washington, D.C.)  The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) renewed the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone this morning with two modifications, which includes allowing the issuance of new liquor licenses for restaurants in the area for the first time in approximately five years. The change is consistent with a provision of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C’s (ANC 1C) proposal on the moratorium.

The Board also reduced the term of the moratorium to three years from five years as a means to monitor the effect of new restaurant licenses in the area. As a result, the moratorium will be reviewed again for renewal in 2017. Complete details of the Board’s decision are available in the Notice of Emergency and Proposed Rulemaking issued this morning.

Other provisions of the moratorium will remain in place. The zone will continue to be the second largest neighborhood moratorium in the District, extending 1,400 feet in all directions from the intersection of Belmont Road and 18th St., NW. In addition to restaurants, hotels and off-premise retailers such as liquor stores will be exempt from the moratorium. Restrictions of the moratorium include:

  • No new licenses for taverns and multipurpose facilities.
  • No nightclub licenses are permitted in the zone.
  • No more than 10 licenses issued for taverns and multipurpose facilities.
  • A restaurant holding a license within the zone is prohibited from changing its license class unless there are fewer than 10 taverns and multipurpose facilities within the zone.
  • A license holder outside of the zone is not permitted to transfer its license to a location within the zone unless it is a restaurant, hotel or off-premise retailer.

The continued restrictions are also consistent with provisions of ANC 1C’s proposal on the moratorium as well as a proposal from the Kalorama Citizens Association. The Board also considered all of the testimony and written comment it received on the issue through Friday, May 9 in making its decision.

The decision is effective immediately on an emergency basis and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval from the District of Columbia Council. Members of the public can submit public comment on the decision for a 30-day period after the Notice of Emergency and Proposed Rulemaking is posted to the D.C. Register.

Contact: Jessie Cornelius (ABRA) 202.442.6954; Email