On the eve of adjournment, the legislature created a new liquor license that allows establishments selling fifteen percent or more of “prepared food” to obtain a new limited service restaurant license. The law legalizes the vast majority of bars and entertainment venues that did not qualify as a “restaurant” under prior law, which required that the sale of food be the “primary business.” The legislation also clarified the existing definition of “restaurant,” by requiring that a restaurant derive fifty percent or more of its income from the sale of food.
The new limited service restaurant license has graduated license fees ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on the percentage of food sales. The license also requires adequate security and a number of other minor modifications to the existing restaurant law.
The law has taken effect and the ABC is accepting applications.