California State Assembly

Assembly – Phil Ting

Boost for local business

By Assemblyman Phil Ting

After a hiatus of more than 70 years, the state will initiate a lottery

later this year to issue five new, full liquor licenses in San

Francisco. This time, however, they will only be available to restaurants located along

underdeveloped commercial corridors in our outer neighborhoods.

This is an exciting prospect for the west side because restaurants

operating along Taraval and Noriega streets will be eligible to apply once application

procedures are soon finalized.

Prompted by legislation authored last year by former state Sen. Mark Leno, Senate Bill

1285, restaurateurs operating along specific corridors – also including Third Street in the

Bayview, Outer Mission in the Excelsior, San Bruno Avenue, Ocean Avenue and

Visitation Valley – will be able to apply for these new liquor licenses.

Compared with the $300,000 cost of acquiring a liquor license

on the secondary market, the chance to get a new license for around $14,000

could be a game changer for local restaurants.

The innovative aspect of this new approach is that such liquor licenses will be

neighborhood-restricted and will not be transferrable on the secondary market.

Consequently, when the holder of such a license sells or closes their business, the license

returns to the state for issuance to another eligible restaurant at the new license price.

And, in order to ensure a buy-in with neighbors, applicants must conduct local outreach,

including a community meeting, when submitting a license application.

The goal here is simple: spurring economic development and opportunity.

Outer neighborhoods need a boost. Successful restaurants can be a catalyst for

prosperity because they create jobs, fuel foot traffic for neighboring small businesses

and reduce vacant storefronts. This is why I am working with San Francisco’s

Office of Economic and Workforce Development on legislation to get the state to issue

more liquor licenses to restaurants in our outer neighborhoods.

My Assembly Bill 471 expands the number of these neighborhood-restricted licenses by

25, for a total of 30. If passed, five neighborhood-restricted licenses would be issued each

year until 2023. The bill recently passed its first vote in the Assembly’s Committee on

Government Organization and now moves to the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee

for further review.

To help move this bill forward, please register your support by contacting me

through my website at

Regardless of whether you enjoy an occasional drink or not, alcohol sales are vital to

restaurant economics. Restaurants without a full liquor license can struggle to keep their

doors open because they face a disadvantage in attracting diners. If we want

them to succeed in our local neighborhoods, we need to broaden access to licenses.

Our town knows how to eat, but restaurants outside the city’s center often struggle to

compete with full-service venues downtown. No wonder it can be hard finding a place to

grab a drink and a meal in the neighborhood. Let’s change that. With your help, we can

get this bill passed and signed.

Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the

west side of San Francisco.

1 reply »

  1. The only issue I have is when Government tries to choose winners and losers in business. The markets should dictate success. Only allowing certain businesses in certain districts benefit is not equitable.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s