Adams Morgan moratorium lifted on restaurant liquor licenses - but not taverns, nightclubs

Stores and cafés along 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted Wednesday to slightly modify a moratorium on liquor licenses in northwest D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood.

The first changes to the moratorium in five years will allow new restaurants in the neighborhood to seek a liquor license -- however, the existing moratorium will be extended for another three years on new licenses for taverns and nightclubs.

The ABC will take up the issue again in 2017.

The moratorium was put into place to curb the neighborhood's loud nightlife, including drunks and fights, which drew the ire of residents.

"It's a really pleasant neighborhood, so the fact it will stay kind of how it is is really good news to me," reacted Ryder Haske, who owns a neighborhood business that operates solely during daytime hours.

But critics of the moratorium contend it has hurt business growth in Adams Morgan and left numerous buildings vacant - with no hopes of being occupied by tenants anytime soon.