New CA Bill to Make Parklets Permanent, Outdoor Drinks Too
Senate Bill 314 and 793 both help remove red tape, lengthy turnaround times and permit redundancies of the bar and restaurant industry, and they both passed through state senate committee this week with unanimous votes. They still need to be voted on by state legislature but here’s what they are offering:
The bill’s main focus is expansion of outdoor seating and service areas, the creation of open container zones and the streamlining of the process to acquire a liquor license. Basically cutting down on the red tape for venue owners and making a lot of the outdoor changes enacted during COVID, like parklets, outdoor drinking areas and to-go cocktails, permanently legal with permits much easier and faster to acquire.
The Bar and Restaurant Recovery Act SB-314 & SB 793
– Make parking lots, sidewalks, alleys, and other untraditional outdoor spaces, which have been utilized by restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent fixtures.
– Expedite the California’ Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s process of issuing alcohol licenses such that the process would take no longer than six months, as opposed to years
– Remove the limitation of the number of invitation-only events that venues with alcohol permits can hold, which would allow wineries and breweries to entertain more guests for their beverage tastings
– Make a new type of liquor license available for live music venues instead of the restaurant liquor licenses that are currently required, which force these venues to install a full restaurant kitchen even if they are not planning to operate a restaurant in their venues
– Allow two different bars to operate at the same location and allow minors to enter a bar outside of the bar’s liquor service hours such that, for example, a bar that is only open in the evenings could share its space with a café that is only open during the day
– Authorize cities to create “open container entertainment zones” at outdoor festivals, street fairs, and concerts where people are permitted to buy and consume alcohol.
Senator Wiener, the bills’ spokesman and co-author characterized the bills as “a shot in the arm to restaurants, bars, [and] live music venues” that have been struggling or completely closed for the last year.
Our legislation to extend outdoor dining & make other changes to help restaurants, bars & live music venues rebound post-pandemic just passed its first committee with a unanimous, bipartisan vote.
Strong small businesses + vibrant neighborhoods = awesome https://t.co/RGgx2y8F2T
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) April 20, 2021