Deadline Approaching for New Liquor License Applications in California
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recently announced authorization for the issuance of new on-sale general and off-sale general licenses in various counties throughout California, as well as authorization for the inter-county transfer of on-sale general and off-sale general licenses. Such general licenses allow the service of beer, wine and spirits for on and/or off premises consumption by consumers (as applicable). Counties in which new liquor licenses are available include Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Monterey. A full list of counties is listed below.
For counties where such licenses are being made available, applications are still being accepted and may be submitted through next Friday September 21, 2018 at the applicable district office of the ABC. Only one priority application will be accepted from any one applicant per county for each type of license. A fee of $15,384 is to be paid when filing an application for a new original on or off sale general license and a fee of $6,000 is to be paid when filing a priority application for the intercounty transfer of an on or off sale general license. Only a certified check, cashier’s check or money order will be accepted for payment of the application fee, which should be made payable to Alcoholic Beverage Control.
In most counties, where ABC receives more applications than there are licenses available, a public drawing or “lottery” will be held to determine the lucky license winners! After the lottery, applicants have 90 days to complete a formal application for their specific premises.
Note that, pursuant to the regulations allowing these new licenses to be issued, conditions and restrictions may apply to some (but not all) of the available licenses. For example, on-sale general licenses in a certain county may be limited to use only at bona fide restaurants (not bars) that accommodate at least a set minimum number of diners. Such conditions should be verified before application is made to ensure that the proposed operations comply with applicable requirements.
If you have any questions about applying for a new on or off sale general license or applying for an intercounty transfers, please contact Bahaneh Hobel.
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