Virginia lawmaker looks to expand open-container law for shopping centers

A bill introduced in the Virginia General Assembly would let more shopping center developments offer open-container access under the state’s liquor laws.

Sen. Barbara Favola, D-Arlington, introduced the measure, which would expand the definition of “commercial lifestyle center” to include mixed-use developments of 10 acres or more. Currently, a development needs to sit on at least 25 acres to get that designation.

A “commercial lifestyle center license” from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority means that visitors within the development can get a drink at a restaurant within a shopping center and leave that restaurant, drink in hand, to walk around or sit in the center’s common areas.

It’s a practice that more development owners are interested in as they work to draw more customers with public spaces, entertainment and events in the parks and plazas within their projects. According to Virginia ABC, there are four licensees in all of Virginia: Fairfax Corner,…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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