Bill a boost for business
Assemblyman Phil Ting
Living in the west side has its upsides – more house for the
money, quieter streets and Golden Gate Park as your backyard.
However, one downside is a lack of restaurants where we can have a cocktail with
our meal. Traveling downtown to go to a full-service restaurant not only takes up our
time but takes foot traffic away from our neighborhood-commercial areas. Many of
our outlying neighborhoods struggle to fill vacant storefronts and need vibrant
restaurants as anchors.
To address this problem, I partnered with San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Work –
force Development and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association to author Assembly
Bill (AB) 471. If signed by Governor Jerry Brown, my bill will grant five new liquor
licenses per year, for five years, to San Francisco. However, these differ from regular
liquor licenses in three key ways.
First, the licenses are restricted to restaurants located along underserved commercial
corridors that were chosen in collaboration with the city’s Invest in Neighborhoods
initiative. Restaurants along Noriega and Taraval streets in the Sunset, as well as
Ocean Avenue, Mission Street in the Excelsior, Leland Street and Bayshore Avenue in
Visitacion Valley, San Bruno Avenue in the Portola and Third Street in the Bayview, are
eligible for the new liquor licenses.
Second, the licenses will cost about $13,800 instead of the nearly $300,000 that
conventional liquor licenses cost on the secondary market. Restaurants in
outer neighborhoods typically lack the revenue to recoup such a large investment,
placing them at a competitive disadvantage.
Third, the licenses cannot be sold to a restaurant in another neighborhood. When a
license holder sells or closes his or her business, the license returns to the state’s
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to be sold to a similarly-eligible restaurant.
However, licenses issued under AB-471 will still require the community to be consulted
before one is granted. Those applying for a license must hold a pre-application
meeting with neighbors in the surrounding area.
This bill builds on the work of former state Sen. Mark Leno, who authored a new law last
year that created five of the neighborhood-restricted liquor licenses for San Francisco’s
outer neighborhoods. When issued later this fall, the licenses will be the first new liquor
licenses available to San Francisco in more than 70 years.
If my bill is signed, San Francisco will see a total of 30 new neighborhood-restricted
liquor licenses for local restaurants. This will provide opportunities for a new generation
of restaurateurs who previously couldn’t afford a license.
Brown has until Oct. 15 to sign AB-471. Please make your voice heard and urge him to do
so by contacting him through his webpage at http://www.gov.ca.gov. Take a moment today to
help make our neighborhoods thrive.
Assemblyman Phil Ting represents the 19th Assembly District, which includes the west
side of San Francisco.