The Governor’s May 20 Executive Order 141 moving the state into a modified Phase 2 stage allowed restaurants and (as amended on May 22) breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cider makers with taprooms to open with certain restrictions. A clear theme of the restrictions/guidelines is to maximize the space between patrons. The more space that establishments have, the better able they will be to comply with the established safety protocols for social distancing. To that end, the NC ABC issued a memorandum that allows these qualifying NC ABC retail permit holders to temporarily extend their retail premise areas into adjoining outside areas like yards, parking areas, sidewalks, courtyards, and the like provided that the following requirements are met:
- The permit holder must have permission from the property owner. This may already be covered by the permit holder’s lease or deed. If it is not, written permission for use of the expansion area will be needed from the owner;
- The permit holder will need approval from the local government entity for the expansion;
- The permit holder must notify either the local NC ALE agent or local law enforcement of the extended premise area prior to use;
- The permit holder must maintain a diagram of the temporary extension area (including size and location) that also describes the perimeter barriers and shows the layout of tables and chairs;
- The temporary expansion of the retail permitted area does not increase the maximum occupancy for the location;
- The expansion area must be adjacent to the existing permitted area;
- The expanded retail area must be visibly distinct to the average person. The barriers may consist of temporary fencing, planters, bike racks, and similar obstacles; and
- The expanded retail area is only valid for the Phase 2 period. Extensions for the time period after Phase 2 will require NC ABC approval;
- The permit holder does NOT need to get permission from the NC ABC for this temporary extension.
These extensions of the premise areas will allow the restaurants and qualifying tasting rooms better implement social distancing guidelines. The patron areas will be safer, and feel safer. Get distant. Be safe.
If you have a questions about abc permitting or issues affecting your business in this crisis, contact Allen Stahl + Kilbourne
By Derek Allen
Updated: May 23, 2020
Any statements contained herein do not constitute a formal legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. These articles are intended for general informational purposes only. Nothing expressed shall be grounds for the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Our attorneys can give legal advice only in the context of an attorney-client relationship after a conflict check, the execution of a representation agreement and a discussion of the specific information and unique issues of your particular circumstances.
The situation surrounding COVID-19/coronavirus is changing constantly; as a result, any discussions that might take place may not necessarily reflect the latest information regarding recently enacted, or pending or proposed legislation or guidance that could override, alter or otherwise affect existing legal analysis.