DC restaurants jump on booze delivery; Montgomery County also allows it now

Both D.C. and Montgomery County require establishments to register online. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/5PH)

The District’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration threw D.C. bars and restaurants a lifeline this week, by allowing establishments with liquor licenses to include alcoholic beverages in sealed containers with food takeout and delivery, and many have jumped on the opportunity.

ABRA said, as of Thursday morning, 531 licensed restaurants and taverns had registered to do it. That is about a third of all restaurants and taverns in the District with liquor licenses, and that number will likely rise.

Montgomery County’s Alcohol Beverage Services and the county’s Board of License Commissioners have also passed a resolution that allows restaurants with current on-premise liquor licenses to sell sealed containers of beer and wine along with takeout or delivered meals.

Unlike D.C., Montgomery County’s new rule does not allow for delivery of hard liquor.

As of Thursday morning, 100 establishments in Montgomery County have applied to sell to go, out of 758 on-premise license holders in the county.

Both D.C. and Montgomery County require establishments to register online.

D.C.’s brief form is here. Montgomery County registration is here. Both forms are brief.

In Montgomery County, businesses are permitted to deliver beer and wine along with a meal using their own staff. State law prohibits the delivery of alcohol by third parties, such as GrubHub or Uber Eats.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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