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Happy Hour Help Coming to Virginia Restaurants

For the first time, Virginia restaurants and nightclubs will be able to advertise happy hour.

Lower King Street in Old Town Alexandria. (Photo credit: Drew Hansen)
Lower King Street in Old Town Alexandria. (Photo credit: Drew Hansen)

Beginning Jan. 29, restaurants and clubs in Virginia (remember, there are no stand-alone bars in the commonwealth) will be able to advertise happy hours, according to The Washington Post.

Previously, establishments could only advertise happy hour within their walls.

There are some limitations within the new state law.

While businesses will be able to use social media or more traditional means to advertise the duration of happy hours for the first time, they’re not allowed to say what the specials specifically entail.

"… they can't say 'margarita specials from 4 to 7' or 'two-for-one sangria specials,' and they can't say the prices," Department of Alcohol Beverage Control Public Relations Specialist Carol Mawyer told the Post.

The Post's Fritz Hahn wrote that while the law is a step in the right direction, it really doesn’t assist in consumer choice.

Hahn explains:

“When you're in an area as bar-heavy as Arlington, Alexandria or Falls Church, if would be nice to know what you're getting into before you walk through the doors: If, for example, one bar on Wilson Boulevard sells craft beers for $3 while another offers domestic bottles for the same price. But hey, at least it gets rid of the wink-wink advertising Virginia bars have resorted to in the past, such as saying they had "25-cent wings and other specials from 4 to 7 p.m."

Read the entire Washington Post story here.

DR JR January 10, 2014 at 02:41 PM
What century are we living in here?
Drew Scott January 10, 2014 at 02:53 PM
So, now restaurants can put a "Happy Hour" sign out front, but can't get more detailed than that? I would laugh at all these stupid rules VA has if I didn't live here.
Fitz157 January 10, 2014 at 03:37 PM
I support the fact they now restaurants and bars can advertise whether they have happy hour or not but I think it's ridiculous to continue to prevent them from advertising prices.
oldtowner January 10, 2014 at 06:01 PM
Let's hear it for the Commonwealth of Virginia....apparently it's OK for the Governor and his wife to accept bribes, but restaurants can't advertise Happy Hour specials. Of course, I remember when the ABC stores were closed on Sundays. :) Go figure....
Mr. Brown January 11, 2014 at 07:40 AM
While the rest of the country de-criminalizes marijuana and builds massive casinos, we horse around with prices for margaritas. I was just in a state with private sector liquor stores and I was reminded how dull our ABC system is.

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