As California’s economy comes roaring back and the state prepares to fully reopen this month, Governor Gavin Newsom 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 adopt best practices that have helped businesses transform the customer experience for the better,” said Governor Newsom 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 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.
“Today’s actions by Governor Newsom are critical – as they contain some of the most successful elements of emergency pandemic relief – and make them stick for the long term as we know that expanded outdoor dining is essential for paving the way towards a restaurant recovery. These actions will be incredibly valuable for so many neighborhood restaurants throughout the state,” said California Restaurant Association CEO and President Jot Condie.
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 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.