Posted by Camila Alarcon
This year’s Liquor Omnibus Bill (H.B. 2281), signed by Governor Ducey on April 26, 2019, is chock-full of new alcohol licensing opportunities for retail centers. Restaurants and bars will be able to overlap liquor licenses and sell alcohol in shared spaces. For owners and managers of retail spaces of over 400,000 square feet, the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control will establish a pilot program to allow the consumption of alcohol throughout pedestrian common areas.
Both of these changes constitute a complete turnaround from the one business, one license rule. With joint premises, restaurants may share space with other restaurants, and bars may share space with other bars. Common ownership is not required. The joint premises may be temporary or permanent, or for use on certain dates and times. People who prefer more communal and social places now have more choice of from where to drink.
The pilot program – available to only 10 retailers – applies to large retail spaces with designated pedestrian areas that are not otherwise licensed to sell alcohol. In these areas, only one restaurant or bar may sell alcohol, but customers can move freely around the designated pedestrian area and consume alcohol. This program is set to expire at the end of 2022.
Both these changes, along with most other legislation, will go into effect ninety days after the legislature adjourns. Applications for joint premises and the pilot program should be available before the law’s effective date.
For any questions about the legislative process or alcohol regulation, please contact Camila Alarcon.
Camila Alarcon focuses her practice in administrative law and government relations. Camila is well-versed in licensing and the regulatory landscapes of the alcohol and hospitality industries. She also assists her clients in shaping legislative policy when current statutes and rules require amending.