Ting Bill Expands SF Neighborhood Liquor Licenses for Economic Boost

Thursday, April 6, 2017

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) announced legislation creating 25 new neighborhood-restricted liquor licenses for San Francisco restaurants along underdeveloped commercial corridors.

“Our outer neighborhoods need an economic boost.  Successful restaurants help build our communities by creating jobs, fueling foot traffic for small businesses, and providing important spaces for neighbors to meet,” said Ting.  “Our town knows how to eat.  Restaurants located in our outer corridors require a liquor license to compete but need relief from affordability challenges.”

Ting’s Assembly Bill (AB) 471 expands by 25, for a total of 30, the number of non-transferable licenses to be issued through a framework for neighborhood-restricted licenses created in legislation authored last year by former Senator Mark Leno.  Through AB 471, five new licenses will be issued each year to San Francisco until 2023.  They will be available to restaurants along commercial corridors outside the city center, including Third Street in the Bayview, Outer Mission in the Excelsior, San Bruno Avenue, Ocean Avenue, Noriega Street, Taraval Street, and Visitacion Valley.

Leno’s bill created five neighborhood-restricted liquor licenses for San Francisco restaurants.  When issued later this year, they will be the first new licenses to be available in San Francisco in over 70 years at a cost of approximately $13,800 instead of nearly $300,000 for a full restaurant liquor license on the secondary market.  Such licenses are not transferrable.  When a license holder sells or closes their business, the license returns to the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for issuance to another eligible restaurant.  Furthermore, applicants for such licenses must conduct local outreach, including a community meeting, before submitting a license application.

"Alcohol sales are a key way that restaurants make their economics work.  Without a full liquor license, neighborhood serving restaurants struggle to make ends meet, while also facing a disadvantage in attracting diners,” said Gwyneth Borden, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.  “If we want residents to stay in their local neighborhoods, we need to give restaurants in these corridors the tools to be successful and keep their doors open."

"San Francisco’s vibrant restaurant and entertainment industry generates $6 billion dollars in annual consumer spending and includes over 60,000 jobs citywide.  AB 471 will increase the availability of affordable liquor licenses for small business owners to open and expand into full service restaurants in neighborhood corridors that have struggled economically,” said Todd Rufo, Director of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “I want to thank Assembly Member Ting for introducing this important legislation to support San Francisco merchants and residents.”

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Contact: Anthony Matthews, tel. (916) 319-2019