SAN FRANCISCO – As California’s economy comes roaring back and the state prepares to fully reopen this month, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced action to ensure that restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries continue to benefit from pandemic regulatory relief – including expanded outdoor dining and the sale of to-go alcoholic drinks – to support the recovery of businesses and protect public health.
“California’s restaurants help create the vibrant and diverse communities that make California the envy of the world. As the state turns to post-pandemic life, we’ll continue to adapt best practices that have helped businesses transform customer experience for the better,” said Governor Newsom today while visiting Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. “With new opportunities and support for businesses large and small, and the California can-do spirit that has carried us through the past year, we will come roaring back from this pandemic.”
The Administration today extended relief measures that permit restaurants and bars to continue to benefit from their investments to expand outdoor operations in areas such as sidewalks and parking lots, and to continue the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages with food deliveries, among other successful pandemic adaptations. In addition, the Administration is urging local governments to facilitate outdoor dining through local zoning and programs that support and promote expanded open-air, take-out and delivery options.
While California has one of the highest vaccination rates and the lowest rate of community transmission in the nation, public health experts recognize that encouraging best practices like outdoor activities and operations remain a public health priority as regions across the nation and world experience surges and variants continue to pose a threat.
Building on regulatory relief announced throughout the pandemic by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, today’s action will also allow bars to continue to partner with food trucks, catering companies or restaurants in order to sell meals with their beverages, as required, and allow wineries and breweries to partner with restaurants to host virtual dinners with wine and beer pairings.
CAGOP Statement on Gavin Newsom’s Restaurant Announcement
SACRAMENTO – Today, California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson released the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s latest press conference:
“California’s restaurant industry suffered more than most under Gavin Newsom’s overbearing shutdowns. With yet another flashy press conference on his self-promoting Recall Response Tour, Newsom offered little to the nearly one third of California restaurants that permanently closed during the pandemic and two-thirds of employees who at least temporarily lost their jobs. It seemed the only restaurant he cared about keeping in business during his shutdowns was French Laundry. Our state has the nation’s second highest unemployment rate and a broken EDD that still has more than 1.1 million claims backlogged from out-of-work Californians. Voters are desperate for solutions, not photo ops.”
Sen. Dodd Responds to Governor’s Restaurant Relief
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, issued the following statement today in response to an executive action from Gov. Gavin Newsom providing critical relief for small businesses including restaurants as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic:
“I thank the governor for his leadership in supporting the recovery of restaurants,” Sen. Dodd said. “They have been devastated by the pandemic and this action will immediately assist these small businesses and the people they employ. My own legislation will make to-go cocktail service permanent, providing long-term relief and consumer choice.”
Earlier this year, Sen. Dodd introduced Senate Bill 389, which would allow both bars and restaurant to sell to-go alcoholic beverages. SB 389 calls for appropriate safeguards enforced by ABC to ensure alcohol is not sold to minors. The bill was approved in the Senate with unanimous support.
Sen. Dodd’s proposal came as restaurants nationwide experience billions in losses because of lockdowns and social distancing requirements to stop the spread of coronavirus. A survey by the National Restaurant Association found 78% of restaurant owners who began selling take-out alcohol rehired laid off employees compared to 62% overall. At least 33 states including California are temporarily allowing the sale of to-go cocktails during the pandemic.
Sen. Dodd, who is chair of the Senate Governmental Organization committee overseeing such areas as alcohol regulation, introduced the bill with the support of the California Restaurant Association.
Today, Gov. Newsom announced an extension until Dec. 31 of the administration’s earlier regulatory relief order allowing restaurants to sell to-go cocktails and offer expanded outdoor service, among other provisions.
Eighth Notice of Regulatory Relief
Pursuant to the Constitution of the State of California, Article XX, Section 22, and in furtherance of Governor Newsom’s emergency declarations and orders regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control previously provided temporary regulatory relief measures to address the state of emergency throughout the state.
The First Notice, Second Notice, Third Notice, Fourth Notice, Fifth Notice, Sixth Notice, and Seventh Notice of Regulatory Relief were implemented by the Department to support the alcoholic beverage industry in its efforts to slow the spread of the virus throughout California, while also assisting the industry in dealing with the economic challenges it faced as a result.
The Department has continued to carefully consider the public health, safety, and welfare in determining if any Regulatory Relief provisions should be extended. This regulatory relief is designed to support the expanded outdoor operations of the alcoholic beverage industry to slow the spread of the virus while assisting the industry in its economic recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.
The Department has determined that the extension of the following provisions will not jeopardize the public health, safety, or welfare, and they will temporarily remain in place until December 31, 2021:
- On-Sale Retailers Exercising Off-Sale Privileges
- Sales of Alcoholic Beverages To-Go
- Deliveries to Consumers
- Free Delivery
- Expansion of Licensed Footprint
- On-Sale Licensees without Kitchen Facilities
- “Virtual” Meet the Winemaker or Brewer Dinners
- Renewal of Relief for Charitable Promotions and Sales
- Relief from Type-75 Requirement to Produce 100 Barrels of Beer Annually
The extended Regulatory Relief requirements set forth in this Notice and in the respective Notices of Regulatory Relief continue to be applicable to all affected Department licenses until December 31, 2021 or unless otherwise noticed by the Department.
In response to the removal of restrictions on licensed businesses, and the implementation of the Beyond the Blueprint Plan on June 15, 2021, the Department hereby gives notice that the following Regulatory Relief provisions will be rescinded effective at the close of business on June 30, 2021:
- Returns of Alcoholic Beverages
- Retail-to-Retail Transactions
- Extension of Credit
- Drive-Thru Windows for Off-Sale Transactions
- Hours of Operations for Retail Sales
- Delivery Hours Extended to Midnight
- Distilled Spirits Manufacturers Providing High-Proof Spirits for Disinfection Purposes
- Virtual Wine Tastings
- Extension of Regulatory Relief for Club Licenses: Type 50, 51 and 52
Limitations on Relief
The Regulatory Relief provided by this and prior Notices is temporary. The Department hereby gives notice that all Regulatory Relief that is extended past June 30, 2021, will be rescinded on December 31, 2021. Such relief may be rescinded immediately should the needs of public safety dictate. In addition, licensees are directed to continue to exercise the temporary relief provided by this Notice responsibly, without compromising the public health, safety, or welfare. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the Department determines that any licensee is found to be abusing the Regulatory Relief provided by this Notice or prior Notices, or if the licensee’s actions jeopardize public health, safety, or welfare, the Department may summarily rescind the relief as to that licensee at any time. Until these temporary relief measures are rescinded, any licensee adhering to the terms of this Notice, prior Notices describing the particular Regulatory Relief, and other applicable laws, may rely on this Notice to utilize the privileges described without risk of enforcement by the Department against its license for actions taken up until the time of the rescission.
In addition, this Notice does not exempt licensees from complying with all local ordinances, zoning restrictions, conditional use permits, and similar local authorizations and limitations, over which the Department has no jurisdiction or control. The Department will not consider any violation of such local controls to constitute a violation of the license issued by the Department.
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