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New booze delivery service launching in D.C., coming soon to Northern Virginia

Wednesday - 5/28/2014, 5:47pm  ET

Many D.C. drinkers can cross one item off their to-do lists starting Thursday, when Ultra, an alcohol delivery service, launches in the District.

Ultra guarantees booze delivery within 30-60 minutes, with a flat fee of $5 and no maximum order.

Right now the service is available in most parts of Northwest D.C., Capitol Hill and H Street NE — and not east of the Anacostia River, as the Washington City Paper pointed out— but the company is hoping to expand its offering into Northern Virginia within a couple of weeks, said Ultra CEO Aniket Shah.

“In Virginia, we are actively looking for partner stores that can work with us,” said Shah. The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control does have a specific alcohol delivery permit available to many licensees, although it’s unclear whether a typical wine or beer store in Northern Virginia has applied for one.

It should be noted that alcohol delivery in general is not a new phenomenon in the District. Several of the city's liquor stores have offered an in-house delivery service for years. But Ultra functions as a technology provider and marketing tool for local alcohol purveyors, with a website where orders can be placed. The company will soon launch a mobile application as well, according to Shah.

The company partners with local liquor stores to make the delivery possible within an hour. Shah declined to identify the app's partners in D.C. for competitive reasons.

The service launched in New York last July and is now up and running in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City and in Chicago. They are looking to add service in another eight cities — Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dallas and Houston — by the end of the year.

D.C. delivery is available starting Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The service is not available on Sundays.

© 2014 American City Business Journals, Inc.