City policy extends Sunday alcohol sales

No Foggy Bottom restaurants have applied for the District’s newest liquor license that makes it legal for bars and eateries to open the taps Sundays at 8 a.m., a city official said Friday.

D.C. began accepting applications Oct. 3 for restaurants to serve alcohol two hours earlier Sundays than the previously legal time.

The policy switch is part of an ongoing city effort to rein in extra funds for the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Act of 2011. Other revised liquor laws, including a tax hike from 9 to 10 percent on alcohol sold off premises – locations that are not bars or restaurants – are expected to draw in an extra $2.36 million yearly as part of a response to the city’s strained fiscal year 2012 budget.

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration spokesperson Cynthia Simms said restaurants must submit applications, as the license change does not automatically apply.

A total of 44 restaurants across the District applied for the earlier hours, she said, but none of them are in the Foggy Bottom area. Cafe Lombardy, The Park and 14th and the Mad Hatter have all applied for the extra two hours.

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration modified D.C. code in August to allow grocers and wholesalers that offer beer and wine to sell until midnight every day, a change from the original rule to end sales at 10 p.m. Fifty-three retailers applied for the extended hours, Simms said.

Retail sellers are still banned from selling hard liquor Sundays, but can sell every other day of the week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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