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Officials: New Bar Hours During Inauguration Won't Apply to 100's of Businesses

The District's decision to extend last-call for bars and nightclubs during the inauguration week has its limits, officials said today: those businesses that have struck agreements in the past with neighborhood groups over hours and rules must honor them.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Attorney General Peter Nickles announced this afternoon that these "voluntary agreements" will remain enforceable, covering about 345 establishments across the city. The agreements typically preclude the sale of alcohol after 2 a.m. on weekdays and after 3 a.m. on weekends.

The announcement was a victory for neighborhood activists, who expressed concern about noise, disorderly conduct and other problems if the agreements were not enforced.

The decision came three days after the D.C. Council formally approved legislation to allow bars and nightclubs to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21. The council initially planned to extend the hours until 5 a.m., but backed off amid criticism from some inaugural planners on Capitol Hill.

The 4 a.m. hour matches the extension that is typically granted for New Year's Eve. The cut-off hours typically are 2 a.m., on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.

-- By Michael E. Ruane

By David A Nakamura  |  December 19, 2008; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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