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Party On: 2012 Dates for Extended Bar Hours in D.C.

by Drink DC on Jan 6, 2012 in Culture
Party On: 2012 Dates for Extended Bar Hours in D.C.

Each year, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) issues a calendar of dates (PDF table) on which bars are allowed to stay open extra hours. This could be because of a holiday: on New Year’s Eve, regular on-premise licensees automatically got a reprieve to keep serving through 4 AM, though the extension is more often until 3 AM, like on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16) or Washington’s Birthday (February 20). Even DC Emancipation Day (April 16) garners an extra hour at the pub.

The other reason for the closing hour reprieve is the ending of Daylight Savings Time, which occurs each autumn (this year on November 4). On that date, clocks “fall back” at 2 AM, meaning it’s suddenly 1 AM, meaning there’s an extra 60 minutes before standard closing hour. Of course, this comes with an accompanying loss of a bar hour in the spring; on March 11, 2012, 2 AM will all of a sudden become 3 AM, and any bars that are usually open until 3 AM will have to shut down what feels like an hour early.

But no worries, that’s the only shortening, most of the special dates are for extensions. Peep the list below and prepare to party.

DAY/HOLIDAY DATE ON WHICH DAY/
HOLIDAY IS OBSERVED IN D.C.
EVENING OF EXTENDED
BUSINESS HOURS
CLOSING HOUR
(THE FOLLOWING MORNING)
New Year’s Day actual Sunday, January 1, 2012 Saturday evening, December 31, 2011 4 AM Sunday morning
New Year’s Day observed Monday, January 2, 2012 Sunday evening, January 1, 2012 3 AM Monday morning
Martin Luther King Day Monday, January 16 Sunday evening, January 15 3 AM Monday morning
Washington’s Birthday Monday, February 20 Sunday evening, February 19 3 AM Monday morning
Spring Daylight Saving Sunday, March 11 Saturday evening, March 10 One Hour Lost
DC Emancipation Day Monday, April 16 Sunday evening, April 15 3 AM Monday morning
Memorial Day Monday, May 28 Sunday evening, May 27 3 AM Monday morning
Independence Day Wednesday, July 4 Tuesday evening, July 3 3 AM Wednesday morning
Labor Day Monday, September 3 Sunday evening, September 2 3 AM Monday morning
Columbus Day Monday, October 8 Sunday evening, October 7 3 AM Monday morning
Autumn Daylight Saving Sunday, November 4 Saturday evening, November 3 One Extra Hour
Veteran’s Day Monday, November 12 Sunday evening, November 11 3 AM Monday morning
Thanksgiving Thursday, November 22 Wednesday evening, November 21 3 AM Thursday morning
Christmas Tuesday, December 25 Monday evening, December 24 3 AM Tuesday morning
New Year’s Day 2013 Tuesday, January 1, 2013 Monday evening, December 31, 2012 4 AM Tuesday morning

 Photo via Flickr user Bill Spruce; link via David Smelson on Twitter

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