New Virginia law is shaking up ‘Happy Hour’


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia restaurants and bars are now free to advertise their happy hour specials.

This change went into effect on July 1. The law allows them to use “creative marketing techniques” to advertise those specials as long as those efforts don’t promote “overconsumption” or entice minors to drink.

Places like Hot Chick in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom have already posted their happy hour specials on social media.

“We’ve already posted all over our social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,” General Manager of Hot Chick Sara Clement said. “We’re hoping to get sidewalk signs so everyone facing Main Street knows.”

Restaurant and bar owners like Clement said they lived in uncertainty over the previous strict happy hour laws.

“People were really nervous because we knew we couldn’t really advertise it,” Clement said. “So hosts didn’t know what they could and couldn’t say on the phone and people didn’t know if they could send it over e-mail.”

The new law will make it easier for locals and tourist to find the best happy hour deals faster.

“I used to always have to Google it online so now maybe I’ll see it more blatantly,” Hot Chick customer Kristen Mok said.

“It’s a fun way to engage your customers and makes it easier for us to know where we want to go when we’re walking down the strip,” Clement said.

Restaurants and Bar Owners in Shockoe Bottom said this is truly a happy ending for them. They told 8News they’ve take a hit downtown with the renovations to the 17th Street Farmers Market and recent crime in the area.

They are hoping happy hour advertisements will help business take off.

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