Long Beach holds back, for now, on ABC permitting bars to reopen if they partner with kitchens

Long Beach has not made a formal determination as to whether it will follow the state liquor board’s newest regulatory relief notice permitting bars to immediately reopen if they partner with a business that makes food.

“The ABC’s regulatory relief notices do not automatically apply to Long Beach,” said Eric Bradley of the city’s Joint Information Center. “The city would need to expressly waive any regulations identified in the notices within City ordinances, zoning restrictions, conditional use permits, and the like, for the change to apply.”

According to Bradley, Long Beach’s health department has not made a determination on the ABC’s update. The language of the notice from ABC makes clear that bars and breweries, closed since mid-March, can immediately reopen as long as they partner with a licensed food operator. This does not mean people will be able to order drinks alone from a bar; they would have to also order food.

Within the current local health order, bars that prepare food—which operate with a liquor license that differs from bars that sell alcohol exclusively—are permitted to remain open as long as they continue to sell food. They are also permitted to sell alcohol to-go. Those deliveries can take place during extended sales hours, from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.