ARI Community Partnerships
The Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI) is an adaptation of the international restaurant accreditation program Best Bar None, which was established in the United Kingdom. Best Bar None was designed to increase safety for patrons and staff while increasing the economic viability of nightlife areas. Creating a safe environment can make businesses more profitable, lessens the draw on County resources, and improve community relations. The voluntary accreditation program provides effective practices to increase safety, including responsible alcohol service, public safety expectations, fire code/safety, food safety, and zoning compliance.
Arlington County evaluated effective practices related to restaurants that serve alcohol with the goal of providing increased access and guidance from County and State officials. The Police Department collaborated with the following agencies to establish recommended the practices that are the foundation for ARI standards:
- Arlington County Police Department
- Arlington County Fire Marshal’s Office
- Arlington County Zoning Office
- Arlington County Department of Human Services – Environmental Health Office
- Arlington County Department of Human Services – Project Peace
- Arlington County Office of the Commonwealth Attorney
- Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control
Partnerships with the Arlington Economic Development Office and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce were also established to promote businesses that participate successfully in the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI). These organizations will promote restaurants that reduce alcohol related harm and make patron safety a priority. Restaurants achieving accreditation are recognized using social media.