Two Restaurant Relief Bills Pass California Legislature and Await Governor’s Signature

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Two restaurant relief measures have cleared the California State Senate and Assembly with bi-partisan support. The bills were both enrolled on September 13, 2021, and now await Governor Newsom’s signature.

AB-61: Business Pandemic Relief

AB-61 authorizes the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) to permit restaurants to serve alcohol in an expanded license area. The bill would also authorize the ABC to extend the period of time during which the COVID-19 permit is valid beyond 365 days if the licensee has applied for permanent expansion of their premises. The bill would make these provisions effective until July 1, 2024.

Our earlier conversation with bill sponsor Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel on the importance of AB-61 is available here.

SB-389: Alcoholic Beverages with Takeout

SB-389 permits restaurants to sell consumers alcoholic beverages with their takeout orders. It has a sunset date of December 31, 2026. Alcoholic beverages must be in single-serve containers, must be sold with a bona fide meal, and are limited to two beverages per meal. Customers must order and pick up their own alcoholic beverages.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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