As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, the health and safety of our employees, customers and community continues to be our top priority. We recognize our important role in providing products to our customers and licensed businesses and will continue to share regular business updates with you.

Across Montgomery County, ABS employees continue to show up to work to keep our business in operation. Because of this dedication, our warehouse is operating, and our stores are open. ABS has been deemed an essential business operation and this means that as long as it is safe for our employees and customers, we will remain open in some form or fashion.

Below are some of the most common questions that we have received from our customers. Answers will be continually updated.

 

Retail Customer FAQs

 

Are ABS retail stores open for business?

Yes, with modified hours. Beginning Tuesday, March 17th, we reduced hours of operation at our retail stores in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Stores are now open Monday - Saturday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and closed on Sundays.

On Thursday, March 19th, Governor Hogan announced all enclosed malls in the state closed, to help stop the spread of coronavirus. To comply with this order, our Cabin John store is now closed. Employees at the closed store will be temporarily relocated to nearby stores. In addition, our Hampden Lane store is temporarily closed. All other stores remain open at this time.

For a list of retail stores and locations, please click here.

 

Why is the Hampden Lane store closed? 

The Hampden Lane store is temporarily closed due to a County employee testing positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The store will be sanitized and deep cleaned before reopening. For details, you can read ABS' press release

 

Will our stores still hold in-store tastings or events?

All in-store tastings and events have been canceled indefinitely.

 

Are retail stores adopting any procedures to protect customers from the coronavirus?

The cleanliness and safe operation of our stores is critical, particularly during this pandemic. In addition to our daily cleaning, we’re frequently sanitizing high traffic areas such as checkout counters and high-touch surfaces such as door handles and knobs. Additionally, during the current health crisis, we would appreciate any effort to pay with credit or debit cards instead of using cash and checks.  Doing so reduces unnecessary contact between customers and the employees and is one more way to keep everyone safe.

 

Who do I contact with questions?

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your local store (click here for store information) or contact the ABS Communications Center (ABS.CommunicationCenter@montgomerycountymd.gov).

 

Licensed Business FAQs

 

Is the ABS office still open?

To limit social interaction and maximize social distance, our offices at 201 Edison Park Drive are currently closed to the public, with the exception of the licensee pick-up window.

  • Most office staff are teleworking and are available via email and phone.
  • The Visitors Entrance/Lobby is closed to the public. Please call 240-777-1999 for assistance.
  • The Communications Center is closed to the public. Please email ABS.CommunicationCenter@montgomerycountymd.gov for assistance.
  • While the licensee pick-up window is currently open, hours of operation have been reduced:
    • Week of 3/23: Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    • Week of 3/30 and continuing indefinitely: Open Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    • Please make every effort to email or fax orders prior to coming to ABS for pickups as the Communications Center is closed to the public.  

 

When will the next Board of License Commissioners meeting be held?

The Board of License Commissioners hearings scheduled for April 9 may be held by teleconference. Check this site for updates.  

 

How do I contact the Communications Center?

For ordering, questions or concerns, please email ABS.CommunicationCenter@montgomerycountymd.gov.

For questions and concerns only, you can reach one of our specialists at a number listed below:

  • Manning, 240-753-3449; Bobby, 240-753-3763; Erin, 240-753-3277; Adrienne, 240-753-3652; Fikirte, 240-614-3993.

All orders must be placed by either (1) iStore (2) email or (3) fax (240-777-1909). Please note: the communications center is not currently taking orders by phone.

 

Are there any changes to the delivery schedule?

To protect both licensees and employees, ABS is streamlining its operations. Beginning Monday, March 16th, we implemented a minimum delivery order of five cases of wine/spirits or seven cases of beer. For our larger customers who have more than one delivery a week, we ask that you please work with us to reduce deliveries where possible. In addition, we will waive the 80-cent bottle fee for spirits and wine at ABS retail stores in response to customer needs during these uncertain times.

 

Will ABS cancel on-site trainings?

Yes, we have cancelled all on-site trainings until further notice. For those businesses mandated to take the ALERT class, the deadline will be extended. If you have any questions, please call our licensing office at 240-777-1999.

 

Have there been any changes to annual alcohol beverage license renewals?

In accordance with the Governor’s order that license periods will be extended for 30 days beyond the declared state of emergency, the deadline to submit an alcoholic beverages license renewal application and the deadline to pick up the renewed license will be extended. Licensees will be informed once new deadlines have been established.

We strongly encourage businesses to submit their annual alcoholic beverages license renewal application through the online portal or by mail.

  • The online portal can be accessed at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/abs/renewal. Use your iStore login. If you are not an iStore user, create a new account.
  • Paper applications with a check for the renewal fee may be mailed to Alcohol Beverage Services, Licensure Regulation, and Education, 201 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20878.

 

Can restaurants now sell and deliver beer, wine and spirits for off-premise consumption? 

The Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners has approved a resolution to allow restaurants to sell beer, wine and spirits to-go during this emergency shutdown. Businesses must apply for approval. For additional information and for how to apply, click here

Approved Resolution:

While the Governor’s order to close all restaurants as a part of the catastrophic health emergency remains in effect, all restaurants licensed by the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners may sell sealed containers of beer, wine, and liquor (for those with a qualifying liquor license) for off-premises consumption along with a takeout or delivered meal. This permission includes any type of sealed container, including bottles, cans, growlers, crowlers, and takeout cups with lids for off-premises consumption. This permission expires when the emergency order to close restaurants is lifted. Businesses may deliver beer, wine and liquor to Montgomery County addresses along with a meal using their own staff. State law prohibits the delivery of alcohol by a third party, such as Grubhub or Uber Eats.

 

I’m an on-premise retailer that had an order cancelled. Do I need to re-order after I’m approved to sell or deliver beer and wine?

We previously cancelled all open sales orders and open purchase orders for on-premise only accounts due to Governor Hogan’s executive order to close all restaurants and bars (with the exception of carry-out, drive-thru and delivery service). With the new permissions for a delivery permit for on-premise licensees, any items that your account will need must be re-ordered via iStore, email (ABS.CommunicationCenter@montgomerycountymd.gov) or fax (240-777-1909). Please keep in mind that we have implemented a minimum delivery of five cases for wine and seven cases of beer during this pandemic, however, we will waive the 80-cent bottle fee for wine at ABS retail stores.

 

How do I reschedule my One Day Special License?

One Day Special License events that have already been submitted or approved by the Board of License Commissioners may be rescheduled to another date at no additional cost. Contact our licensing office at 240-777-1999 to amend your license. Please note: per order of the Governor of the State of Maryland, we cannot approve licenses for gatherings of more than 10 people, including social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings until further notice.