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Tapped Out: Trolley Pub Bill 'Passed By Indefinitely'

Bill would have also benefited limos, buses and boats.

A bill in Richmond that would have allowed patrons of the Arlington Trolley Pub to drink on the peddle-powered vehicle has been 'passed by indefinitely,' according to the bill's author. Submitted photo/Patch file
A bill in Richmond that would have allowed patrons of the Arlington Trolley Pub to drink on the peddle-powered vehicle has been 'passed by indefinitely,' according to the bill's author. Submitted photo/Patch file

Patrons who enjoy taking the Trolley Pub in and around Clarendon will have to continue to limit their drinking to stopping points.

A bill in Richmond that would have allowed pub-crawlers to drink along the way on the 14-seat, peddle-powered vehicle has essentially died.

"There were considerable issues with the bill, so I asked that the bill be defeated," said state Del. Patrick Hope, an Arlington Democrat who authored the proposed legislation.

The bill, sent to a House subcommittee, has been "passed by indefinitely" at Hope's request.

As to why, Hope only said, "There's too many significant issues around it."

The broadly written bill would have benefited not only the Trolley Pub, but limousines, buses and boats. It was designed to change state law to allow passengers in motor vehicles or boats operated by a restricted common carrier or contract passenger carrier to consume alcoholic beverages.

A Jan. 9 article in the Sun Gazette on the bill highlighted Arlington County Board members' opposition to the entire concept of a trolley pub.

"If you hear a 'ka-boom' in the vicinity of the county government’s headquarters on Clarendon Boulevard, it may just be the heads of County Board members exploding in rage," the article stated. ARLNow.com subsequently profiled the bill.

The Trolley Pub hoped to launch in Clarendon as similar ventures did in Tuscon, Ariz., and Raleigh, N.C. — as a bring-your-own-beer, peddle-powered pub. But the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control squashed that idea and, rather than fight the state in costly legal battles, the Clarendon iteration of the business launched as a pub-crawl vehicle.

Two-hour private tours with stops from Courthouse to Ballston cost $35 per individual or $420 for up to 14 people.

Initially partnering with five area bars, the list of stops for different routes on the Trolley Pub's website has grown a bit.

Destination points include Velocity 5, Arlington Rooftop, A-Town Bar & Grill, Wilson's Tavern, American Tap Room, O'Sullivan's Irish Pub, Whitlow's on Wilson, Fire Works Pizza and Ragtime.

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