The moratorium on liquor licenses in the western part of the Dupont Circle neighborhood is on the verge of its virtual demise. That is the bottom line after the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B voted 4-2 (with 1 abstention) last Wednesday to request that the ABC Board end the moratorium completely, aside from a 3-year extension of the current ban on nightclub licenses. The ABC Board still will have a hearing and vote to determine whether to accept the recommendation and make it the law of DC.
Restrictions on restaurant liquor licenses were lifted in 2011, but other licenses have continued to be capped in the moratorium area (on-premises: 3 multi-purpose licenses, 6 tavern licenses, and 0 nightclub licenses). The moratorium has been in effect since 1994.
Notably, the resolution also asked authorities “to codify a city-wide restriction on nightclubs next to residential buildings and residential buildings next to nightclubs” so the moratorium could be fully lifted in another 3 years. A working group convened to discuss the moratorium had recommended that the moratorium be ended completely but accompanied by a standing policy to protest all liquor licenses. This standing policy was not adopted.