What Time Do They Stop Selling Alcohol In Virginia? Answered

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Virginia is one of the strictest states when it comes to alcohol. Apart from its nine dry counties (wherein the sale of distilled spirits is completely prohibited), there are no bars in the state, and there is one location where you can’t even bring alcohol to.

But what time do they stop selling alcohol in Virginia? Keep reading to know more. This article will explain the ins and outs of Virginia alcohol laws.

When Do Liquor Shops Stop Selling Alcohol in Virginia?

Whiskey Bottles

The timeframe for Virginia alcohol sales depends on the type of establishment.

Local retailers can sell alcohol for off-premise consumption from 6 am to midnight every day. This means they can’t sell alcohol after midnight.

However, restaurants with mixed liquor licenses can continue to serve beer and alcohol until 2 am. It’s important to note that this extension only applies to alcohol consumed inside the premises.

The law on alcohol sale regulations can be quite strict and are enforced at the state and local levels. While the state law sets the standard time for sales, some towns and cities may have their own rules. In case of any conflict, the state government always takes precedence.

For example, some areas might have different rules regarding alcohol retail sales on Sundays. In Fairfax County, retailers are allowed to sell beer and wine on Sundays from 12 pm to 12 am. In Norfolk, alcohol sales on Sundays start from 10 am to 2 am.

Lastly, Virginia ABC stores (Alcoholic Beverage Control) are closed on most major holidays. [1]

“Cheers in Virginia, midnight marks the last call.” – Liquor Laboratory

Understanding Virginia Alcohol Laws

Restricted Hours

Restaurants selling food and drinks can also serve alcohol from 6 am to midnight. Off-premise or retail locations are required to stop alcohol sales at midnight.

Exceptions To Restricted Hours

Restaurants are allowed to sell liquor until 2am, provided you consume alcohol within the premises.

During the pandemic, the Commonwealth of Virginia allowed retailers, like grocery stores, to sell wine and other alcoholic drinks to go.

Age Restriction

Only individuals of legal drinking age are allowed to purchase alcohol. Restaurants must have proper identification procedures in place to ensure this is met.

Surprisingly, teens as young as 16 can work in a liquor store, and those 18 can work in a restaurant serving alcohol but cannot consume alcohol themselves.

Read: When Do North Carolina Stores Stop Selling Liquor?

Its Drinking Laws

Virginia has pretty strict alcohol laws. Beer is legal throughout the state, but it is prohibited to sell hard liquor in nine dry counties. Restaurants with a mixed liquor license can sell alcohol for on-premise consumption from 6 am until 2 am, regardless if food service continues after that time.

It’s also illegal to serve alcohol to visibly drunk people (especially inside a motor vehicle), and businesses violating this law can face fines and license suspension.

Virginia’s open container laws state that the passengers within a motor vehicle can drink their own beer and alcohol as long as the driver does not partake. [2]

Lastly, consuming alcohol (or even possessing it) anywhere in Virginia Beach is prohibited.

Virginia’s Alcohol Sales Hours

Man Buying Liquor

Gas Stations

Gas stations can sell beer and other alcoholic beverages from 6 am to midnight every day.

However, it’s important to know that gas stations can sell low-alcohol beverages, like beer and wine, but not sell spirits. Purchasing alcohol is prohibited on Christmas.

Bars & Restaurants

Restaurants in Virginia can sell beer from 6 am to midnight Monday through Sunday and are allowed to have a happy hour. The state has no “pure bars” because all places serving alcohol must have a 55 to 45 percent ratio of alcohol to food sales to maintain their licensing.

On-premise locations require mixed beverage licenses to stay open from midnight to 2 am, but Virginia law mandates closing all liquor sales at midnight.

They must also keep track of their alcohol sales, such as the number of drinks served and when. This information is regularly reviewed by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC). Failure to do so permits the ABC to suspend the establishment from operating.

Breweries & Taprooms

Breweries and taprooms in Virginia can sell beer from 6 am to midnight Monday through Sunday.

“Give me a woman who loves beer, and I will conquer the world.” – Kaiser Wilhelm

They sell beer on draft, cans, or bottles, or rent out kegs and fill growlers.

Grocery Stores

Like gas stations, grocery stores in Virginia can sell beer and wine from 6 am to midnight Monday through Sunday.

These establishments can sell beer in cans or bottles. Alcohol sales are not allowed on Christmas.

Related Posts:

Is It A Dry State?

Virginia is not a dry state. However, there are nine dry counties in the state wherein the sale of distilled spirits is prohibited (only the sale of beer is allowed). Residents who wish to buy alcohol have to go outside the jurisdiction to do so legally.

The nine dry counties in Virginia are:

  1. Bland
  2. Buchanan
  3. Charlotte
  4. Craig
  5. Grayson
  6. Highland
  7. Lee
  8. Patrick
  9. Russell

Do Virginia Laws Allow Alcohol Delivery?

Liquor Store

Yes, Virginia laws allow alcohol delivery. You can buy liquor and beer from restaurants and breweries from Monday to Friday.

Retail locations, like grocery and convenience stores, also offer same-day delivery within a five-mile radius.


What time does 7/11 stop selling beer in Virginia?

7-Eleven stops selling beer in Virginia at midnight. As a local retailer, they must comply with the state’s regulations, which prohibit alcohol sales after midnight.

When can alcohol be served in Virginia?

In Virginia, alcohol can be served at on-premise locations, such as restaurants, from 6 am to 2 am daily. If you plan to buy alcohol from a store and take it home, you only have until midnight to do so.

Can you buy beer after midnight in Virginia?

No, you cannot buy beer after midnight in Virginia. Off-premise retailers and local stores must stop supplying alcohol at midnight as per Virginia’s alcohol sales regulations.

On A Final Note

Virginia’s new laws allow alcohol and beer delivery from restaurants and breweries on weekdays.

However, beer sales at 7-Eleven and other liquor stores are required to end by midnight due to state regulations. Most hard liquor can only be purchased at state-run ABC stores.

On-premise locations, such as bars and restaurants, can supply alcohol from 6 am to 2 am, provided they have the necessary alcohol licenses. However, alcohol cannot be purchased after midnight for off-premise consumption.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with Virginia’s strict drinking and open container laws to ensure the safety of everyone involved.



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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