Short Pump mall seeks ‘open container’ ABC license to drink while you shop

Short Pump Town Center is trying to secure an ABC license that will permit the mall to allow visitors to drink alcoholic beverages as they walk around the premises. (BizSense file photo)

Short Pump Town Center wants to allow people to walk around the mall with alcoholic beverages open and in hand.

The Henrico County mall recently filed a request with the Virginia ABC for one of the alcohol control agency’s commercial lifestyle center licenses, which would allow Short Pump’s visitors to consume alcoholic beverages in the mall’s common areas. The mall hopes to offer the perk no later than spring 2023.

“In short, it is similar to an ‘open container’ license and will allow visitors over the age of 21 to take their purchased alcoholic beverages (bought at one of our tenant restaurants) out with them while they shop,” said a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, the New York firm that co-owns the mall.

The company offers similar open-container programs at other properties in its portfolio.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance the customer experience and we’ve seen this trend become more common in other outdoor centers and more popular with customers,” the spokeswoman said.

The desired ABC license permits the licensee to allow on-premises drinking by visitors, so long as the drinks are purchased from restaurant tenants. The licensee itself can’t sell alcoholic beverages.

All of the mall’s restaurant tenants that hold ABC on-premises licenses would be allowed to participate in the program, though participation is voluntary, the mall spokeswoman said. Restaurants at Short Pump mall that sell alcohol include Casa del Barco, The Boathouse, Lehja and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

State law requires holders of such licenses to designate their open-container areas. Short Pump is planning to allow visitors to sip on their alcoholic beverages throughout the mall’s common areas on both the lower and upper levels. Drinks wouldn’t be able to be carried out to the parking lot.

The alcoholic beverages must be served in disposable cups that display the name or logo of the restaurant they bought it from, per state law.

Brookfield Properties applied for the license more than a week ago. It hopes to receive a decision on the request in three to six months.

There are nine active commercial lifestyle center license holders in Virginia, none of which are in the Richmond area, according to an ABC spokeswoman.

Short Pump Town Center is trying to secure an ABC license that will permit the mall to allow visitors to drink alcoholic beverages as they walk around the premises. (BizSense file photo)

Short Pump Town Center wants to allow people to walk around the mall with alcoholic beverages open and in hand.

The Henrico County mall recently filed a request with the Virginia ABC for one of the alcohol control agency’s commercial lifestyle center licenses, which would allow Short Pump’s visitors to consume alcoholic beverages in the mall’s common areas. The mall hopes to offer the perk no later than spring 2023.

“In short, it is similar to an ‘open container’ license and will allow visitors over the age of 21 to take their purchased alcoholic beverages (bought at one of our tenant restaurants) out with them while they shop,” said a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, the New York firm that co-owns the mall.

The company offers similar open-container programs at other properties in its portfolio.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance the customer experience and we’ve seen this trend become more common in other outdoor centers and more popular with customers,” the spokeswoman said.

The desired ABC license permits the licensee to allow on-premises drinking by visitors, so long as the drinks are purchased from restaurant tenants. The licensee itself can’t sell alcoholic beverages.

All of the mall’s restaurant tenants that hold ABC on-premises licenses would be allowed to participate in the program, though participation is voluntary, the mall spokeswoman said. Restaurants at Short Pump mall that sell alcohol include Casa del Barco, The Boathouse, Lehja and Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

State law requires holders of such licenses to designate their open-container areas. Short Pump is planning to allow visitors to sip on their alcoholic beverages throughout the mall’s common areas on both the lower and upper levels. Drinks wouldn’t be able to be carried out to the parking lot.

The alcoholic beverages must be served in disposable cups that display the name or logo of the restaurant they bought it from, per state law.

Brookfield Properties applied for the license more than a week ago. It hopes to receive a decision on the request in three to six months.

There are nine active commercial lifestyle center license holders in Virginia, none of which are in the Richmond area, according to an ABC spokeswoman.

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Jim Jones
Jim Jones
1 month ago

New Orleans, Savannah Now Short Pump Mall!!

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

Back in the ‘70’s when liquor by the drink became legal in restaurants, one could not buy a drink without being seated and could not move that drink to another table. Only a waiter could move it for you. One of my California friends said that in Virginia “you can’t walk around in a bar with a beer but every pickup truck driver has one in his hand going down the road!”

Karen Ann Graham
Karen Ann Graham
1 month ago

So, this would enhance the shopping experience? I think doing without an alcoholic beverage for a couple of hours while you shop is not a problem.

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
1 month ago

The best part is you won’t have to have one. They didn’t apply for a forced drinking license.

Lisa Martin
Lisa Martin
1 month ago

Husbands who have been dragged along might enjoy it 🙂
But you don’t have to.

Mariane Jorgenson
Mariane Jorgenson
1 month ago
Reply to  Lisa Martin

Then your drunk husband drives you home?

Justin W Ranson
Justin W Ranson
1 month ago

umm… are you implying that wives can’t drive?

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
1 month ago

pretty sure that in this here century they let woman get driver’s licenses …. and goodness gracious, they don’t even need their husband’s permission

Ed Christina
Ed Christina
1 month ago

“There are nine active commercial lifestyle center license holders in Virginia, none of which are in the Richmond area, according to an ABC spokeswoman.”

Interesting, where are the other ones?

This would be great for Shockoe or Scott’s Addition.

Chris Crews
Chris Crews
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

Agreed. I ran a nightclub in Shockoe Bottom for a long time and could never understand why the City didn’t treat it like what it was – an entertainment district. I’m fully aware that the climate in the Bottom has changed over the years, and adding open container drinks to the current mix is adding gasoline to a fire, but with the right mindset and goals, The Bottom could become an incredible destination.

Robbie Asplund
Robbie Asplund
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

I’d like to see better pedestrian infrastructure in Scott’s Addition first, but Shockoe Bottom, for sure. The Canal Walk, as well.

Steve Fox
Steve Fox
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Christina

2 that come to mind, Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion

Bruce Kramer
Bruce Kramer
1 month ago

What could possibly go wrong?

Salim Chishti
Salim Chishti
1 month ago
Reply to  Bruce Kramer

I know that’s tongue in cheek but…it is hard enough to walk around the parking lot with sober drivers there and getting out of there to Broad Street!

Salim Chishti
Salim Chishti
1 month ago

Must be hard not to drink for a couple of hours while you shop.

Derek Woolwine
Derek Woolwine
1 month ago
Reply to  Salim Chishti

Shopping with a “slow” shopper is what creates the need. 🙂

Mariane Jorgenson
Mariane Jorgenson
1 month ago
Reply to  Derek Woolwine

So slow shopper gets life in danger by going home with impaired driver

karl hott
karl hott
1 month ago

Be careful what you wish for…

Mariane Jorgenson
Mariane Jorgenson
1 month ago

This will not end well.

Roger Turner
Roger Turner
1 month ago

Certainly someone shouldn’t have to drink to shop but for those acting like suddenly you are going to see drunk people all over the place creating madness you do realize that almost any place in America you can walk around with a Starbucks cup or even a Yeti cup and people don’t question what you are drinking?