Drybar Bethesda Celebrates New Alcohol Law
The so-called “Drybar Bill” went into effect Tuesday, which the Bethesda Row location of the hair salon chain celebrated with a proclamation from Gov. Martin O’Malley.
O’Malley proclaimed July 1 “Buttercup Day,” in reference to Drybar’s yellow blow dryer mascot.
The business opened in October 2012 at 4840 Bethesda Ave., where regional manager Courtney Barfield realized employees weren’t allowed to serve customers complimentary glasses of champagne — a Drybar staple.
“We just weren’t willing to accept that,” Barfield said. “There was no license available whatsoever.”
Barfield and Drybar worked with District 16 Del. Ariana Kelly to push legislation in this year’s General Assembly to allow for Montgomery County hair salons to provide complimentary wine, beer and champagne. It was one of many changes to loosen alcohol regulations in Montgomery County.
O’Malley signed the bills on May 5 in Annapolis.
“It’s part of our overall experience. Women want to come here, they want to relax and they want to be pampered,” Barfield said.
Tuesday marks the first day hair salons can apply for the special license, so Drybar won’t actually be able to serve bubbly for about 30 days.
Other alcohol bills for Montgomery County that take effect Tuesday concern many of the issues discussed by the county’s Nighttime Economy Task Force. Starting Tuesday, the required alcohol-to-food gross sales ratio for county restaurants is 60-40, more lenient than the 50-50 requirement before.
Restaurants will be required to sell 40 percent food at a minimum only until 9 p.m. County delegates led a charge to allow an extra hour of alcohol service, so last call will be 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends and the nights before certain federal holidays.
One law will allow microbreweries to distribute their own beer — meaning those entities don’t have to distribute through the county’s Department of Liquor Control.
Another microbrewery law removes the restriction that requires microbreweries to be fully licensed restaurants before being able to sell beer.