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Virginia ABC > Licenses > Get a License > Retail Licenses > Glossary


Banquet facility
A fire and/or rescue squad station regularly occupied by volunteer fire department and/or rescue squad duly recognized by the governing body of the city, county or town in which it is located. Such license authorizes only consumption (not purchases/sales) of legally acquired alcoholic beverages by persons in attendance at a function which would qualify for a banquet license. The fire department or rescue squad may also utilize its banquet facility license at other facilities provided such other facilities are occupied and under the control of the fire department or rescue squad while the privileges of its license are being exercised therein.

Bed and breakfast
An establishment with no more than 15 bedrooms offering at least one meal per day to each person to whom overnight lodging is provided. The licensee may serve alcoholic beverages in dining rooms and other rooms to overnight lodgers, for on-premises consumption and without regard to receipts from the sale of food.

A person in the business of providing food and beverages to persons for services at private gatherings or at special events.

A private, nonprofit corporation or association which is the owner, lessee or occupant of an establishment operated solely for objects of a national, social, patriotic, political or athletic nature or the like, but not for pecuniary gain, the advantages of which belong to all the members.

Convenience grocery store
An establishment which has an enclosed room in a permanent structure where stock is displayed and offered for sale, which sells edible items intended for human consumption consisting of a variety of such items of the type normally sold in grocery stores, and does not sell any petroleum-related service with the sale of petroleum.

Day spa
A commercial establishment offering both massage therapy and cosmetology services.

An establishment which sells a variety of prepared foods or foods requiring little preparation such as cheeses, salads, cooked meats and related condiments.

Edible items
As used in the definitions of grocery store for wine and beer and beer only and for the convenience grocery store, this term means those items normally used in the preparation of meals, including liquids, and must include a variety (at least five) of representative items for each of these basic food groups: dairy, meat, grain, vegetables and fruit.

Equine sporting events
Authorizes organizations holding equestrian, hunt and steeplechase events to permit the consumption of lawfully acquired alcoholic beverages on the premises during such events. Alcoholic beverages shall not be charged for in any way.

Gift shop
An establishment that sells gift items and authorizes the sale of wine and beer unchilled within the interior of the gift shop in closed containers.

Gourmet brewing shop
An establishment which allows the sale of ingredients for making wine or brewing beer, including packaging, and to rent the facilities for manufacturing, fermenting and bottling such wine or beer for off-premises consumption.

Gourmet oyster house
A commercial marina permitted to serve oysters/fresh seafood on premises.

Gourmet shop
An establishment provided with adequate shelving and storage facilities that sells products such as cheeses and gourmet foods.

Grocery store
An establishment which sells edible items intended for human consumption, including a variety of staple foodstuffs used in the preparation of meals.

A duly licensed establishment provided with special space and accommodation where, in consideration of payment, food and lodging are habitually furnished to persons, and which has four or more bedrooms. A mixed beverage restaurant license may be granted to a restaurant located on the premises of and in a hotel or motel with not less than four permanent bedrooms where food and beverage services are customarily provided by the restaurant in bedrooms and other private rooms of such hotel or motel.

Marina store
An establishment operated by the owner of a marina which sells general food and nautical and fishing supplies.

A bottle containing 50 mL of distilled spirits.

Mixed beverage
A spirits drink composed in whole or in part of alcoholic beverages containing more than 14 percent alcohol by volume.

An establishment exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue Code (' 501 [c] [3]) and allows the serving and/or consumption of lawfully acquired alcoholic beverages on the premises of the museum by bonafide members and guests. Alcoholic beverages may not be sold or charged for in any way.

Off-premises privilege requires the sale of alcoholic beverages to be taken off of the premises of the licensed establishment.

On-premises privilege allows for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the premises of the licensed establishment.

A dining establishment selling meals with entrees and other food prepared on the premises. The specific food requirements increase for wine and beer and mixed beverage licenses.

An establishment selling medicines prepared by a registered pharmacist according to prescription and other medicines and articles of home and general use.

Tasting licenses
Authorizes the selling or giving samples of alcoholic beverages in designated areas at events. This license is issued for the purpose of featuring and educating the public about the alcoholic beverages being tasted and is limited to four licenses per year.


ABC special agents are the primary resource for all questions related to obtaining an ABC license and operating a licensed establishment. To find your ABC special agent, please contact your regional ABC office.