Will Cheek's Last Call Blog

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My bar or restaurant has closed for coronavirus. Now what?

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My bar or restaurant has closed for coronavirus. Now what?

Apr 2, 2020

On the heels of Gov. Bill Lee’s Safer at Home Order, we are seeing a second wave of restaurant closures. Which begs an important question: Should I let the ABC and local beer board know that my business is closed?

Although we have not seen any formal guidance from the ABC or beer boards on temporary corona closures, we do not expect any citations to issue for closed restaurants, bars, hotels and other licensed establishments.

If you are the cautious sort, you may want to upload a letter into your RLPS record documenting that your establishment is closed indefinitely. You can also mail a similar notice to your local beer board.

We have created a handy template for you to use here. The lawyer in us has to say that this is not legal advice. Facts and circumstances can differ and you may want to take a different course of action.

Safer at home during the corona closure, we have been wearing out Jack White’s killer tune “Alone in my Home.”

All alone in my home

Alone in my home

Nobody can touch me

And now, here are a few operational changes at the ABC.

Inspections.

The ABC ceased in-person inspections in the middle of March. ABC agents have the discretion to inspect by telephone, Facetime or other visual aids. We have continued to obtain licenses during the corona closure.

Late fees for Citations.

The ABC is extending the time period for paying or otherwise resolving citations without penalty from 20 days to 80 days. This is a 60-day extension of the normal 20-day period.

Late fees for renewals.

The ABC has granted a 60-day extension for renewals. We encourage restaurants and bars not to wait to until the 60th day after your renewal deadline. If you discover that you have tax issues or other problems with the renewal, you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to renew within the 60-day extension. In these cases, the ABC has advised that they may issue citations.

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