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More Than 200 Bars Register to Stay Open All Night for Inauguration Week

Ready to party 'til you drop for the inaugural?

You're in luck. A total of 213 bars, restaurants and nightclubs formally registered with the D.C. Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration by yesterday's deadline to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. and, possibly, stay open around the clock for inauguration week. In addition, 73 other establishments have applications pending approval from neighborhood associations with which they have special contractual agreements.

The special registration was required for the nightlife establishments to take advantage of an emergency law approved by the D.C. Council last month that will allow them to stay open past the usual 3 a.m. closing time on weekends and 2 a.m. on weekdays. The controversial bill was opposed by a number of community and religious organizations, which objected due to concerns over crime and noise. The head of the D.C. police union has also warned that the department's manpower might be stretched too thin, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Robert Bennett (R-Utah) sent a letter of objection to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D).

The majority of the bars and restaurants are in Ward 2, which encompasses Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Gallery Place. Another 26 are in Ward 1, which includes Adams Morgan, and 35 are in Ward 6, which contains Capitol Hill.

Establishments were required to pay fees franging from $100 to $250 for each night they will stay open later. The city collected approximately $100,000, said Fred Moosally, interim director of the regulatory agency. The fate of the 73 bars with pending applications will become known after Jan. 15, when they must have come to agreement with the neighborhood associations or forfeit the opportunity, Moosally said.

By David A Nakamura  |  January 8, 2009; 6:34 PM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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