City of Manassas votes to expand public drinking hours

The city of Manassas has voted to expand public drinking options for residents and visitors, moving from allowing public drinking during 12 special events per year to allowing public drinking every weekend.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: City of Manassas considering expanding public drinking hours

Historic Manassas, Inc. "HMI" has held a Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Special Events License since 2019 for a designated area in Downtown Manassas. As a result of recent legislation by the Virginia General Assembly, certain businesses can obtain a new license that authorizes them to allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages in an outdoor refreshment area.

The issue will now go before the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority for a vote.

In 2019, when the license was first approved, businesses in the area, both restaurants and retail, experienced an increase and sales.

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The community "embraced the experience of walking around downtown," said Board President Patrick Langdon, "listening to music and visiting friends with the ability to enjoy an adult beverage at the same time." 

The local ordinance must include the size and scope of the area within which such events will be held, and a public safety plan.

Public drinking will only be permitted within certain parameters within the city.

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Manassas City Police Department will regularly patrol the designated outdoor refreshment area and will coordinate with the license holder regarding maintaining adequate security for all special events within the designated outdoor refreshment area.