Comments on Premises Expansion
Comments received during the week of October 16 to October 22, 2022.
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and Policy Unit:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed regulation regarding Licensing of permanent non-contiguous areas. While I understand the intent and purpose of the new regulation and generally agree a regulation is need and the proposed regulation has reasonable provisions, I am concerned regulation as drafted is over limiting in a couple of areas. For example, in section (d)(1)(A) the proposed regulations states, “A portion of the non-contiguous licensed area shall be visible and observable, without obstruction, from the interior of the primary or main area of the licensed premises.” Does that mean if a portion of the non-contiguous licensed area is not visible and observable, without obstruction, from the interior of the primary or main area of the licensed premises, the non-contiguous licensed area cannot be licensed? If that is the intent, then I believe the rule should be revised to allow a non-contiguous licensed area that is not visible and observable, without obstruction, from the interior of the primary or main area of the licensed premises to be licensed provided that additional safeguards are put in place to ensure that the non-contiguous licensed area is operated in a manner consistent with all licensed premises. During COVID 19 Pandemic, numerous non-contiguous licensed areas were responsibly operated in areas not visible and observable, without obstruction, from the interior of the primary or main area of the licensed premises.
In addition, (d)(8) states “All sales of alcoholic beverages shall be made from within the main or primary area of the licensed premises. No bar, dispensing point, or other fixture or equipment of any kind, whether permanent or temporary, shall be used in the non-contiguous licensed area for the purpose of selling or delivering alcoholic beverages to consumers, directly or indirectly. This prohibition excludes only the taking of orders by the licensee, or an employee of the licensee, for persons seated in the non-contiguous area.” This provisions seams completely unreasonable and contrary to how a non-contiguous licensed area would be operated. Given the very nature of the area being non-contiguous to the primary licensed premises, most licensee’s would likely utilize a portable bar, service station or permanent bar to provide beverage service in the non-contiguous area. From an operational standpoint, a licensee would likely want to use portable bar, service station or permanent bar to reduce trips into the primary licensed establishment by waitstaff, creating better service, more efficiency and comply with a Department objective by keeping waitstaff in the non-contiguous licensed area. In fact, there are numerous remote patios currently licensed in the state, that would now presumably be categorized as non-contiguous licensed area, that primarily are outdoor dining areas that feature a permanent bars. To the best of my knowledge, the fact a not-contiguous licensed area has bar, dispensing point, or other fixture or equipment of any kind, whether permanent or temporary, has not impacted the licensees compliance with alcoholic beverage law. I urge the Department to remove this provision in its entirety.
If you have any questions or need clarification on the foregoing, please let me know. Again thank you for the opportunity to provide input on the pending regulation.
Comments will be addressed at the end of the comment period.