Montgomery County’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) announced it will extend hours at 25 of its retail store locations starting Thursday, April 1.
Since the start of the pandemic, ABS stores were closing at 7 p.m. due to COVID-19-related staffing issues. The stores will soon be open Monday through Saturday, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“Now that more employees and residents are getting vaccinated, we are able to get back to our pre-COVID evening hours,” Kent Massie, ABS division chief for retail operations, said in a statement. “We know our customers want the convenience of shopping later into the evening, especially as the days get longer. Staying open later makes sense given we are continuing to limit the number of shoppers in stores at one time.”
The spirits-only store in Poolesville will be the only location to not follow the new extended hours. The lower volume location will continue to close at 7 p.m., according to a press release.
ABS stores will continue to remain closed on Sundays and the department will re-evaluate store hours as more people become vaccinated.
The retail stores will also continue following social distancing protocols, limiting the number of customers, implementing enhanced cleaning, and maintaining plexiglass barriers at checkout.