Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Agency 5. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority
Chapter 50. Retail Operations

3VAC5-50-110. Definitions and qualifications for retail on-premises and on-premises and off-premises licenses generally; mixed beverage licensee requirements; exceptions; temporary licenses.

A. The following definitions shall apply to retail licensees with on-premises consumption privileges and mixed beverage licensees where appropriate:

1. "Bona fide, full-service restaurant" means an established place of business where meals are regularly sold to persons and that has adequate facilities and sufficient employees for cooking, preparing, and serving such meals for consumption at tables in dining areas on the premises.

2. "Counter" means a long, narrow surface with stools or chairs along one side for the patrons, behind which refreshments or meals are prepared and served.

3. "Designated area" means a room or an area in which a licensee may exercise the privilege of his license, the location, equipment and facilities of which room or area have been approved by the board. The facilities shall be such that patrons may purchase food prepared on the premises for consumption on the premises at substantially all times that alcoholic beverages are offered for sale therein.

4. "Dining area" means a public room or area in which meals are regularly sold at substantially all hours that alcoholic beverages are offered for sale therein.

5. "Meal" means a selection of foods for one individual, served and eaten especially at one of the customary, regular occasions for taking food during the day, such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, that consists of at least one main dish of meat, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, or other protein sources, accompanied by vegetable, fruit, grain, or starch products.

6. "Table" means an article of furniture supported by one or more vertical legs or similar supports and having a flat horizontal surface suitable for the service of meals, not immediately adjacent to the area where refreshments or meals are prepared.

B. Wine and beer. Retail on-premises or on-premises and off-premises licenses may be granted to persons operating the following types of establishments provided that meals or other foods are regularly sold at substantially all hours that wine and beer are offered for sale and the total monthly food sales for consumption in dining areas and other designated areas on the premises are not less than those shown:

1. "Boat" (on premises only). A common carrier of passengers for which a certificate as a sight-seeing carrier by boat, or a special or charter party by boat has been issued by the State Corporation Commission, habitually serving food on the boat:

Monthly sales..........................................................$2,000

2. "Restaurant." A bona fide dining establishment with special space and accommodation where, in consideration of payment, meals with entrees or other foods prepared on the premises are regularly sold:

Monthly sales..........................................................$2,000

3. "Hotel." Any duly licensed establishment, provided with special space and accommodation, where, in consideration of payment, meals and other food prepared on the premises and lodging are habitually furnished to persons and which has four or more bedrooms:

Monthly sales..........................................................$2,000

In regard to both restaurants and hotels, at least $1,000 of the required monthly sales must be in the form of meals.

4. "Gourmet Oyster House." Any duly licensed establishment, located on the premises of a commercial marina and permitted by the Department of Health to serve oysters and other fresh seafood for consumption on the premises, where the licensee also offers to the public events for the purpose of featuring oysters and other seafood products:

Monthly sales of oysters and other seafood….....$1,000

C. Mixed beverage licenses. Mixed beverage restaurant licenses may be granted to persons operating bona fide, full-service restaurants.

1. Service of food in a bona fide, full-service restaurant shall consist of serving the food to the table on plates or appropriate dinnerware, accompanied by appropriate tableware. The board may approve the issuance of a mixed beverage restaurant license to a buffet restaurant if (i) both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverage service is provided at the table and (ii) actual sales show that the requirements of subdivision D 2 of this section are met.

2. Monthly sales of food prepared on the premises of a mixed beverage restaurant licensee shall not be less than $4,000, of which at least $2,000 shall be in the form of meals.

3. A mixed beverage restaurant licensee must have at least as many seats at tables as at counters.

4. A mixed beverage restaurant licensee shall have food, cooked or prepared on the licensed premises, available for on-premises consumption until at least 30 minutes prior to an establishment's closing. Such food shall be available in all areas of the licensed premises in which spirits are sold or served. This provision shall not apply to mixed beverage casino licensees.

D. The board may grant a license to an establishment not meeting the qualifying figures in this section, provided the establishment otherwise is qualified under the applicable provisions of the Code of Virginia and this section, if it affirmatively appears that there is a substantial public demand for such an establishment and that the public convenience will be promoted by the issuance of the license.

E. Notwithstanding subsections A through D of this section, the board may issue a temporary license for any of the retail operations in subsections A through D of this section. Such licenses may be issued only after application has been filed in accordance with § 4.1-230 of the Code of Virginia, and in cases where the sole objection to issuance of a license is that the establishment will not be qualified in terms of the sale of food or edible items. If a temporary license is issued, the board shall conduct an audit of the business after a reasonable period of operation not to exceed 180 days. Should the business be qualified, the license applied for may be issued. If the business is not qualified, the application will become the subject of a hearing if the applicant so desires. No further temporary license shall be issued to the applicant or to any other person with respect to the establishment for a period of one year from expiration and, once the application becomes the subject of a hearing, no temporary license may be issued.

F. An outside terrace or patio, the location, equipment, and facilities of which have been approved by the board, may be approved as a "dining area" or as a "designated area" in the discretion of the board.

G. Limited mixed beverage licenses may be granted to persons operating restaurants as defined in § 4.1-100 of the Code of Virginia, provided that food is regularly sold at substantially all hours that alcoholic beverages are offered for sale, and the total monthly food sales of food cooked or prepared on the premises for consumption in dining areas and other designated areas on the premises are not less than $2,000.

Statutory Authority

§ 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-5 § 11, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013; Volume 30, Issue 9, eff. January 29, 2014; Volume 36, Issue 22, eff. August 8, 2020; Volume 38, Issue 1, eff. January 1, 2022; Volume 39, Issue 4, eff. November 9, 2022.

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