Virginia Happy Hours Will Soon Be Slightly Happier, Less Regulated

happy hourFrankly, I’m not sure whether to raise a glass to
toast the good news about happy hour deregulation in Virginia, or
quickly down a drink to drown my sorrows about the glacial pace of

Starting on January 29, Virginia bars and restaurants will enjoy
the freedom to advertise the fact that they have happy hours.

Previously, drinking establishments could tout drink specials
inside their own premises, but nowhere else. Now tweets,
signage, and other forms of advertising are legit. 

BUT bars still can’t advertise what those drink specials are,
only that they exist. Passersby and Twitter followers are only
allowed to know the place and time, and the fact that a happy hour
is occurring.

“Two for one appletinis at Douchebar tonight” remains a verboten
tweet, and the rules still make it tough for bars to compete for
customers by offering especially enticing deals.

Also, here’s a bunch of other stuff Virginia bars still can’t
do, via

  • All happy hours must end by 9 p.m., and no specials can be
    offered after that. They can, however, begin again at 6 a.m.
  • Mixed drinks, including margaritas, cannot be served by the
  • Open bars with unlimited drinks are not allowed under any
    circumstances. That’s why New Year’s Eve parties at Clarendon
    Ballroom or Clarendon Grill include a couple of drink tickets with
    the admission fee instead of access to an open bar, as many bars in
    Washington and Maryland do.

from Hit & Run

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