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Happy Hour Advertising is Now a Go in Virginia

July 05, 2019 / MICHAEL POPE

Bars and restaurants can now advertise their happy hour prices, a restriction that’s long plagued the industry. The A-frame sign outside Pork Barrel Barbecue in Alexandria proudly announces a list of happy-hour specials — $3 rail liquor, $4 craft beer and $4 house wines. Last month, this sign would have been illegal. “As of Monday, this is now a legal advertisement," says Bill Blackburn, owner of Pork Barrel Barbecue. He says that old law outlawing happy hour ads was outdated and ill-conceived. “This doesn’t protect society from the evils of alcohol. People are not drinking more because they are more informed about where they can get good deals.” The new law was one of the accomplishments of this year’s General Assembly session, when House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn explained that the bill makes life easier for inspectors and for restaurants.