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San Francisco Adopts Simplified Regulations for Restaurants and Bars

April 26, 2012

On April 17, 2012, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed amendments to the Planning Code that consolidated 13 restaurant definitions into 3 categories and established operating conditions for bars and restaurants.

The three new categories are Restaurant, Limited-Restaurant, and Bar.  A Restaurant is any restaurant that serves food, including those that serve beer, wine or liquor for on-site consumption.  A Limited-Restaurant is any restaurant that serves food but does not serve beer or wine for on-site consumption.  A Bar serves beer, wine or liquor for on-site consumption.

The San Francisco Chronicle captures how much of a difference this legislation will make for restaurants in San Francisco.  Prior to the adoption of these amendments to the Planning Code, one bagel shop owner could sell bagels, but was not able to toast them because his permit did not allow for him to keep a toaster on the premises.  Another example is an ice cream shop that could serve ice cream in a cup, but not in a cone. The regulations ranged from the types of foods a restaurateur could serve to the number of chairs allowed in a cafe.  Please read the San Francisco Chronicle article here.

The adopted operating conditions for bars and restaurants include maintaining entrance and abutting sidewalks in a clean and sanitary condition, soundproofing premises when located within an enclosed space, installation of appropriate odor control equipment, keeping garbage, recycling, and compost containers hidden from public view.  You can read the full text of the ordinance here.

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