On April 15, Los Angeles City Planning released the framework for a new program that would simplify the approval process for sit-down restaurants seeking to serve alcoholic beverages. The proposed Restaurant Beverage Program would shorten the time for city approvals from months to weeks.
The profit margin from sales of alcoholic beverages has helped restaurant owners stay afloat during sharp rises in rent and payroll costs and, more recently, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Restaurant Beverage Program would create an efficient and easy-to-navigate process, providing opportunities to new startups while also aiding the recovery of existing small businesses, once the stay-at-home orders are lifted.
City Planning’s proposed program would allow qualifying restaurants to receive over-the-counter approvals, saving time and money. Restaurant owners would pay approximately $4,000 for a permit to serve alcohol – significantly less than the permit’s current price tag, $13,000.
“In developing this program, we made it easier to enforce against any bad actors, while still giving small business owners a leg up,” Director of Planning Vince Bertoni said.
Nightclubs, bars and liquor stores would not be eligible to take advantage of the proposed program. They would continue to apply through a separate discretionary process that involves community input. To prevent the proliferation of alcohol-serving establishments, City Planning developed eligibility criteria to limit this program to restaurants meeting certain criteria, including having an operational kitchen and full menu.
City Planning is drafting a separate but related ordinance that would impose standards on operators who received a state license to serve alcohol before the city issued alcohol permits.
The City Planning Commission will consider the Restaurant Beverage Program in the coming months. City Planning will host a webinar in May. For information, visit planning4la.org/about/calendar.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.