Washington Downtown Social District

In September 2021, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law House Bill 890 (HB 890) – ABC Omnibus Legislation – which passed both the House and Senate with bi-partisan support. Included in HB 890 was a provision allowing local governments to create social districts in North Carolina.

A social district is a defined area in which a person may consume alcoholic beverages sold by an ABC permittee located within the social district in a defined area during the days and hours set by the local government in creating the social district.

Washington Downtown Social District Hours

Thursday 5pm – 10pm,
Friday 5pm – 10pm,
Saturday 12pm – 10pm

Social District Boundaries

Signs are in place to assist you. Please dispose of any alcohol before leaving the designated areas.

Management & Maintenance Plan


Boundary Signs

Washington Downtown Social District boundary signage

Participating Business

Washington Downtown Social District participating business signage

Non-Participating Business

Washington Downtown Social District non-participating business signage

Social District ABC Permittee

Social District cups sold here sign

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my own cup to consume alcohol?

No. Drinks must be consumed from Washington Downtown Social District cups received at the drink purchase location.  Each ABC permitted business will label the cup with the required Washington Downtown Social District logo & business name or logo.

Can I bring my own alcohol to the district?

No. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased from ABC-permitted establishments located within the Washington Downtown Social District, carried in the approved cup, and must be consumed within the District.

What are the hours?

Thursday 5pm – 10pm, Friday 5pm – 10pm, Saturday 12pm – 10pm

Will all downtown businesses sell beverages?

No. Look for the “Washington Downtown Social District” sticker at the door/window.  ABC-permitted establishments will advertise if they sell social district drinks.  Check the sticker in the retailer’s window to see if beverages are allowed inside of the establishment.

How do I know to identify the social district? Will there be signs posted?

The boundary of the Washington Downtown Social District will have signs posted. Please see the map above for where to expect signs at the boundary of the District.

Can I purchase alcohol and take it home?

All alcohol in open containers must be disposed of before exiting the District or entering a vehicle.

Can I carry my cup into different bars or restaurants from the one I bought it in?

No. You must dispose of your Washington Downtown Social District cup prior to entering a business or location that holds an ABC permit.

Will retail shops allow me to bring my drink inside?

Some retail shops will allow you to bring your drink inside their store, please check the window of the store for a “Participating” or “Non-Participating” sticker.

Are there specific places to dispose of cups?

You can dispose of your Social District cup in any trash can on the street, or trash cans provided for use by the public within a business.  Should you choose to save your cup as a souvenir, all liquid inside of it must be disposed of before leaving Social District boundaries.

Who do I contact to report someone in violation of social district rules?

Please contact the Washington Police Department at 252-946-1444