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UPDATED: 'Happy Hour' Changes OKd in Virginia

January 17, 2014

Bar-goers in Charlottesville can now raise a class to new happy hour laws. Starting January 29th restaurants will be able to advertise when they are having drink specials.

The law previously stated that restaurant could list the time frame of their happy hour, but only inside their restaurant. Chad Ragland, owner of Wild Wing Café, says being able to advertise special through social media, newspapers and radio will expand their potential customer base.

"We definitely will include it, we might as well. It's better than the sign you were able to put up. And for us, you can't see us, there is no foot traffic," said Ragland.

Some restaurants have tried get around the restrictions with some sly advertising like "wings and 'other specials'" from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"We had to find creative ways to let people know we had drink special and stuff like that, where now we can be much more straight forward," said Ira Lamping the general manager at McGrady's Irish Pub.

While the law is slightly eased up, there are still limits as to exactly what the ads can say. For instance, the types of drink specials being offered cannot be publicized. Ragland says while this new law is a step in the right direction, it won't open the floodgates of new customers.

"I don't think it will have a huge impact. I think you will hear it, and see it more, but I don't necessarily think it will bring more people running through your door," Ragland said.

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