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Possible ABC rules expansions have the backing of some local restaurant owners

Posted at 11:41 PM, Dec 31, 2014
and last updated 2015-01-01 13:18:53-05

RICHMOND, Va. --There could be some changes coming in the way you order cocktails in the new year. A lawmaker is proposing a bill that would change some rules to help restaurants expand what they do.

As a business owner in Richmond, Jake Crocker says ABC regulations can be tight in the Commonwealth.

"They're very conservative laws written 80-90 years ago," Crocker explained

But the new year could bring with some changes to the rules for restaurants.

"Surprisingly it looks like they are making effort to clarify and relax some rules," Crocker says.

Del. Dave Albo of Fairfax is proposing a bill that would expand the things restaurants can do.

He says the list came from the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association to help restaurants.

One of them would allow restaurants to pre-mix sangria and other hard alcoholic drinks in pitchers to serve to customers.

“It’s common sense when you're having big parties,” said Penny Lane Pub owner Terry O’Neill. “It saves a lot of work and a lot of aggravation.”

Another would allow an owner to extend their premises to outdoor dining areas up to 12 times per year instead of two.

"Once a month, I would be able to provide a bigger opportunity for my patrons to be outside--to put on bigger events,” Crocker said.

While many business owners are happy to see the possible expansion of the rules, some customers say they just want to make sure the rules wouldn't be an inconvenience for others.

"I would think that the only thing that would be the residents in the area if they complain then they may have to moderate that," said Rick VanDoren, a local patron.

This bill still has several steps to go through before passing.