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RICHMOND -- Restaurants will soon be able to advertise happy hour and the time span of their drink specials in any media- including social, print or broadcast.

In the past, Virginia restaurants could only advertise happy hour inside the establishment or on a 17-by-22-inch sign attached to the outside of the business.

The governor's office recently approved the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations changes.

The new happy hour advertising will become effective January 29.

Promotion of specific happy hour drink prices and specials, however, will still be restricted.

Also, beginning January 15, gourmet shops as well as restaurants with on- and off-premises licenses will be able to sell growlers of wine, beer or cider for customers to purchase and take out.

ABC embarked on its regulatory review in 2011, a task that had not been undertaken in more than 15 years.

'The process involved gathering recommendations from the public, alcohol industry representatives, restaurant owners and other key stakeholders, and was focused on public safety and business-friendly decisions,' said ABC Chief Operating Officer Curtis Coleburn.



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