November 18, 2020

Action Needed: City Considers Over-the-Counter Alcohol Permits

Tomorrow, City Council (PLUM) will FINALLY hear the Restaurant Beverage Program. This is an over-the-counter, extremely less expensive process for alcohol permits (CUB). The ordinance is inclusive of full liquor privileges making it accessible to existing full liquor operators looking to make changes to their operations. We have been fighting for this item since 2017. Now, more than ever, we need for this to be approved! Neighborhood councils strongly oppose it and will show up to tomorrow’s meeting. We NEED the restaurant community to show up to push this forward. 

For anyone of you who have had to sit through a neighborhood council meeting, hire an expensive expeditor, wait 1-2 years for your CUB letter, bullied to have additional parking by ‘neighborhood vigilantes’; this ordinance, if passed, will remove these components in getting an alcohol permit (subject to reasonable conditions of approval). As we weather the storms of dining restrictions we must stick together and fight for legislation that is impactful to our industry.  We need to fight tomorrow!

Talking points provided below. However, I encourage you to tell your personal story of how expensive, long, and horrendous the current CUB system is. It will be impactful telling the story of how this can help your business. Voice your struggle through this year’s pandemic and tell city council members to move this forward now. 

Join me, as we provide public comment on item #12. You will most likely only get 1 minute to speak. Start with your name, that you support the item and encourage the council to move this forward immediately. Your arguments or story can follow.

Feel free to email us with any questions!

Meeting info:

What: Support Item 12 to Establish an Restaurant Beverage Program 

When: Thursday, November 19th at 10 AM 

How: Call 1-669-254-5252. Enter the meeting ID: 161 644 6631 and press #. Press # again. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak.

Speaking points:

  • This must include full liquor.
  • Allow flexibility in inclusion of patios. This is our new dining culture.
  • Based on information from the California Dept. of Tax and Fee Administration, restaurants generate 5.7 billion per year in taxable sales within LA County, more than the auto industry. This is money that stays within our communities through jobs, local merchants, farmers, etc. 
  • Because Restaurants are so often locally owned, they contribute to most community platforms like kids sports programs, religious institutions, and other charitable causes. 
  • We need the RBP to include full liquor enabling existing restaurants that wish to expand their premise or remodel their interior floor plan without being subjected to up to 30 thousand dollars and a years wait time.
  • The RBP helps businesses who need it most, the small restaurant business that can’t afford a CUB and expeditor. 
  • A CUP for alcohol in conjunction with a restaurant shouldn’t cost 15k. 
  • We need to simplify the permitting process for restaurants. It shouldn’t take up to 2 years to get planning authorization for an alcohol license.
  • The 7am-11pm hours limitation mitigates misuse of restaurants operating as nightclubs.
  • This ordinance does not apply to liquor stores.
  • Cities like Santa Monica, Burbank, and Beverly Hills already allow template approvals for restaurants who wish to serve alcohol. LA needs to be a part of a more friendly small business economy.
  • Each restaurant employs at minimum 30-50 employees from dishwashers, to baristas, to line cooks, chefs, managers etc. Having an alcohol license can be 30-40% of revenue used to sustain these local jobs. 
  • This will help the businesses hardest hit from the pandemic: indoor hospitality-driven restaurant concepts; many whom already have been forced to close their doors.