PALM SPRINGS — It’s news many hard-hit businesses will celebrate, California will allow businesses with a liquor license to temporarily expand their footprint — including onto streets — as long as it is with the service of a meal and authorized by the local government once in-person dining is allowed to safely resume.

Mayor Geoff Kors made the announcement on his Facebook page Saturday morning.

Kors, who recently formed the Business Transition & Re-Entry Task Force has been advocating for this move directly with the Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) since coming together three weeks ago.

Palm Springs restaurants — and eateries throughout California, will be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages in extended indoor common areas and outdoor locations that were previously not allowed including streets, sidewalks and parking lots, once in person dining is allowed to resume as part the next stage of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Phase 2 plan for re-opening California’s economy in the wake of COVID-19.

Any ABC  licensee with on-sale retail privileges may now apply to (ABC) for a temporary COVID-19 Catering Authorization, which will allow on sale consumption of alcoholic beverages for which the licensee has privileges on the property that is adjacent to the premises. The Department will grant these temporary authorizations only for areas in which bona fide meal may be served for on site consumption in accordance to health and safety directives and is limited to the service of alcoholic beverages during times in which bona fide meals are being served. The cost of the permit is $100.

Geoff Kors

Mayor Geoff Kors

“This is fantastic news for our local economy in Palm Springs and the entire state of California,” Kors said in his post.

“This is smart policy as it will allow restaurants to safely increase capacity while providing the social distancing required under State law. We are thrilled Governor Newsom and ABC officials are working with local businesses and cities throughout the state, who have weathered severe loss of revenue since the COVID-19 outbreak and are in desperate need of economic relief,” Kors said. “We have already started mapping out areas where we could close streets and portions of parking lots in Palm Springs for our local restaurants.”

“This move by the ABC is much appreciated and will bring more people into our restaurants while respecting social distancing and public health,” said Patrick Service, operator of Las Casuelas Terraza in downtown Palm Springs, who serves on the Task Force with several other local stakeholders.

The City Council will be providing direction to staff on the new regulation and other COVID-19 related matters during the May 21st City Council Meeting.

Image Sources

  • Geoff Kors: Geoff Kors
  • Drinking: Shutterstock