Virginia ABC accelerates approval process for restaurants serving alcohol outdoors

Updated: May. 14, 2020 at 9:37 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After weeks of economic burden from statewide COVID-19 restrictions, Virginia ABC authority announced Wednesday that it will be accelerating the process for licensees to receive approval for temporary outside dining areas.

It’s required by law that restaurants must have a separate license to serve alcohol outdoors. Restaurants looking to take advantage of the expedited services must have written approval for the temporary outside dining from its locality and must provide a diagram of the outdoor dining area to the Authority.

Once the authority receives those items the restaurants if approved may begin serving alcohol outdoors.

The outdoor dining must be within 100 feet of the restaurant in question and adequate tables and chairs must be provided.

Other guidelines approved restaurants must follow include using the area for the selling and consumption of alcohol only between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. unless further limited by authorization from the locality. Areas used after sunset must be well lit and lighting should be sufficient for eating outdoors and determining a customer’s age and sobriety.

Under the expedited services, each restaurant approved must have its own exclusive outside dining area. and cannot share their space with another restaurant or business.

Licensees located within the hardest-hit localities of Virginia including Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas will become eligible for this services beginning May 29, 2020, or as may be extended by further Executive Order.

For more details on Virginia ABC’s expanded services click HERE.

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