Restaurants Promoting 'Happy Hour' After ABC Lifts Ban on Phrase

January 30, 2014

Virginia restaurants have more freedom promoting ''Happy Hour" drink specials after the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is easing its crackdown on the phrase.

The new rules went into effect on Wednesday. By Thursday, restaurants on The Corner in Charlottesville were already advertising their deals.

Restaurants can now advertise their drink specials not only outside of their establishments, but also in social media and on the web.

"It's really exciting because we can now promote outside the four walls of the restaurant," said Stephanie Robedeau, bar manager at No. 3. "Being able to say, 'hey, we do have a happy hour, we do have specials' to get people in the door is a huge movement toward our bar sales."

Robedeau predicts more flexibility in promoting specials will also boost midday sales.

"It definitely helps because you're looking at your between lunch and dinner crowd. Your food sales are going to occur between 11 and 2 and then from 6 to 9, so having something to fill that in between time is going to be really awesome for us," she said.

For a list of acceptable wording for advertising, click HERE.

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