Effective May 15, 2020, most counties in Oregon (with the exception of Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Marion and Polk) were approved to enter Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan in accordance with Executive Order 20-25, which includes the reopening of all eating and drinking establishments in those counties, including restaurants, bars, breweries, brewpubs, wineries, tasting rooms, and distilleries, subject to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Phase I Reopening Guidance. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has also issued reopening guidelines for on-premises licensees.
Licensees in counties approved for Phase 1 reopening may begin operating without notifying the OLCC, so long as no changes are made to the premises. Licensees that wish to modify their premises to comply with the OHA social distancing requirements must notify the OLCC by filing an Application for Expansion of Service Area. The OLCC has also issued some practical guidance for licensees to help apply the new rules to their business operations in this FAQ document. Among other things, the FAQ document clarifies that:
- To comply with OHA social distancing requirements, F-COM licensees may have fewer than 30 indoor dining seats that are typically required for their license type, provided that food service remains the primary activity on the premises
- Minimum food service requirements are being waived, to allow licensees the flexibility to reopen with simplified menus, provided that food service is the primary activity on the premises
- Licensees that have recently begun to offer to-go and delivery service for alcohol beverages may continue to offer these services, subject to the previously issued OLCC guidance (See our related Client Alert for more specifics)