Why Happy Hour specials will soon pour into your social media feed

RICHMOND, Va. — It’s happy hour, but better. If that is confusing, let me explain.

On July 1, Richmond restaurants will FINALLY be able to tell customers about their happy hour specials. Until now, it has mostly been a secret with restaurants only able to disclose any drink specials inside of their restaurants; not on websites or advertisements or even on their social media.

The laws regarding the advertisement of happy hours loosened slightly in 2014 and made it so local restaurants could talk about the specifics around their drink specials but that was all. Now all happy hours ads are fair game and you will be able to Google your next $5 martini destination.

Michelle Williams, co-owner of Richmond Restaurant Group which has 12 concepts, including two Hard Shell locations, The Hill Cafe, Pearl Raw Bar, The Daily Kitchen and Bar, and East Coast Provisions, states this new law is “long overdue”.

Williams does caution that she thinks it “will be interesting to see how folded the marketplace will be with ads for happy hour [and] hopefully not to the point where people start turning it off because they get tired of the abundance of ads.”

On Virginia Alcohol and Beverage Control website:

Starting July 1, 2019, changes to current happy hour advertising laws will go into effect.

Upcoming legislation will allow establishments to include prices when advertising happy hours, as well as creative terms in advertising, such as “Wine Down Wednesday,” or “Thirsty Thursday.” Happy hour specials may not promote over-consumption or underage drinking.

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