Maryland OKs Alcohol at Salons in Montgomery County

Bethesda's Drybar will no longer be so... dry.

On Monday, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a bill to allow salon customers to have a glass of wine or champagne while getting their hair styled at salons in Montgomery County.

Drybar -- which was founded in California in 2010 and opened two locations in the D.C. area in fall 2012 -- typically serves a drink to over-21 clients who want one. But employees would often have to explain that while D.C. law permits customers at the Georgetown location to kick back with a drink, their clients were out of luck in Bethesda.

"It's Drybar; it's a bar and you have a glass of champagne or wine or a mimosa. Not to be able to do that was pretty disappointing," said Drybar founder Alli Webb. "When you buy or purchase a blowout, along with it comes a drink. We don't sell alcohol.... We're only giving you one glass; it's five ounces."

Courtney Barfield, a regional manager for Drybar, lobbied Maryland Del. Ariana B. Kelly to develop the bill -- but Webb wasn't expecting success at first.

"I'm like, 'She's doing what?' I don't think any of us thought it would become a reality," Webb said. It did, and she was on hand for O'Malley's bill signing Monday.

Under the new law, salons will be able to apply for beer and wine licenses, provided they also have a beauty salon permit. They would then be permitted to provide beer or wine by the glass, when a cosmetology service is provided or during a fundraising event.

The new law will go into effect July 1.

"We need to do a couple more things to get everything done, to pay for the license, to take a class," Webb said. "I do think it will help businesses in general who may have events, or salons in the area who want to do this well."

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