Governor Gavin Newsom announced today, June 3, that California will allow restaurants and bars to continue selling cocktails to go, as well as the wine in Parklet, at least until the end of the year. Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor London Breed hold a press conference together Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant, that multi-generational margarita institution in Richmond. Sadly, the governor left no stone unturned, but he did announce some good news, in that he is extending some temporary emergency orders that were put in place at the start of the pandemic to give some bills more time to move forward. can be given. through the State Legislature.
“We don’t want to go back to normal. Normal was never good enough,” Newsom said. “… Parklets [and to-go cocktails] Bars and restaurants have survived through the pandemic, and they have revitalized the neighborhood, and we want to continue to do that for years and years. ”
With California fully reopening for business less than two weeks on June 15, many restaurants and bars are wondering about the finer details, including when these kinds of temporary emergency measures might end. Restaurants and bars have spent thousands of dollars making parklets, stacking takeout containers, and testing and perfecting various business models during the pandemic, and are now eager to keep ringing in the drink tab to recover from lost sales Huh. Today’s announcement should be reassuring news for at least the next six months and should allow more time for the permanent legislation to be approved.
California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Cocktails-to-go tentatively approved in March 2020Easing cocktail rules for takeout and delivery. For the past year, restaurants and bars have been allowed to sell wine, beer and cocktails, provided they are in a container with a secure lid and served with the meal. The measure has been helpful, though bars that don’t serve food have scrambled to find food partners to meet that sticky need. There was also no set end date for this temporary suspension; ABC simply said “until further notice,” leaving bar owners with a certain amount of concern as we move into reopening.
Senator Bill Dodd Introduces State Bill 398 in Napa Back in February, a proposal to make cocktail-to-go permanent. That bill has already been approved by the state Senate and is now up for vote in the state assembly, at which point it will go to Governor Newsom’s desk for final approval. But in the meantime, the governor is stepping up and offering an extension of the temporary emergency order until the end of the year, which is effective until December 31, 2021. He described it as a “stop-gap solution” for billing. More time to move through the legislative process and address concerns for restaurant and bar owners. “We’re running out of a gap concern,” the governor told Eater SF. “Bottom line, we want to give the legislature time to fix this.”
Newsom also says that the state is “moving out of the way” if the city and county want to continue sharing space, though questions Will Parklet be a permanent fixture in San Francisco There is a more complex issue that is still supposedly up for contentious local debate. But for now, at least the governor confirmed that restaurants and bars are allowed to serve alcohol in Parklet until the end of the year, on the same timeline. Serving beer, wine or cocktails in Parklet during the pandemic was required to obtain a special temporary permit from ABC, and again, it was unclear when those temporary permits would expire.
Senator Scott Weiner also introduced State Bill 314 in San Francisco. Around the same time this winter, a proposal to ease restrictions on outdoor dining, which would not only make Parklet permanent, would make it easier to serve alcohol in Parklet, depending on existing liquor licenses. The extension announced today will allow the timing of that bill to run side by side.
In an exclusive interview with Eater SF, Governor Newsom confirmed that no business owners need to go out and get a new license or permit right now and that it extends temporary permits to those already in a parklet. Issued to keep businesses serving alcohol. end of the year. He couldn’t offer a concrete update on the food requirement for the well-known cocktail still baked into Senator Dodd’s proposed bill, though he said the provision was still up for discussion. “All of them are being reviewed by the legislature, the constituents are being reviewed by the ABC … but the rules that were in effect are in effect for the time being,” he says.
In the context of the larger questions and concerns surrounding the reopening, and when San Francisco restaurant and bar owners will receive more guidance and details on exactly what is going to happen on June 15, the governor proposed to hand-wash Diya, threw up his hands, and said it was up to Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Department of Health (SFDPH) to confirm those local details. “Look, I’m the governor of California, not the mayor of California,” Newsom says, explaining that cities and counties across the state have to make their own local decisions. “What the state is doing is removing any statewide restrictions … I’m no longer mayor [of San Francisco]. I will defer to the mayor, the mayor’s office and the DPH.
However, it is worth noting that our governor is the founder of the Plumpjack Winery Group, which makes him the owner of several bars in San Francisco, including Balboa Cafe, white rabbit, and wildhawk. He says he has a lifelong passion for the hospitality industry and offered his sympathies to his fellow bar owners in San Francisco. “It’s been a hell of a year. I have a deep respect, empathy, and understanding for the anxiety and stress that restaurant and bar owners have endured this year — from financial and emotional burdens to unforgivable margins.” , staffing issues, unreliable landlords and the pitfalls of talent as cooks and bartenders leave the industry.
And so while these two extensions are still temporary solutions, they may offer some relief. “We are grateful to ABC and Governor Newsom for their active support,” says Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA), a local industry lobbying group. “We need some certainty and clarity that we will continue to operate and legally serve alcohol in these outlying locations, until more permanent legislation can be enacted. We continue to support SB 389, Senator Dodd’s bill for Cocktails to Go, and SB 314, Senator Weiner’s bill that allows alcohol to be served in outdoor public places, both now moving through the legislature .