Home » City Guide »

SF’s 77-Year Ban on New Liquor Licenses is Finally Over

The first new booze permits since 1939 are about to get issued.
By - posted 10/17/2016 No Comment

If there is something that San Francisco needs more of, it’s not tourists and food– okay, new restaurants won’t be bad — but liquor, liquor, and more liquor!

While there’s lots of beer/wine licenses in The City, new full “liquor” licenses have on hold since 1939, scarcer and hard to find than a fogless day in the Sunset.
But now, for the first time in 77 years, SF’s liquor license prohibition is over.

Finally, some positive political news.

And the best part? These licenses are for sale for the ridiculously low price of $13,800. Usually these bad boys go for around $300k on the secondary market, which means now you can get a liquor license plus pay your mortgage. How exciting is that?

Before you get your hopes up of more bars popping up everywhere, or making a killing with a cheap license, There’s only five new permits for sale.

And there’s a few more catches… the new permits appear to be for restaurants (not bars), the permits are non-transferrable (so they can’t be sold for a profit) and they are only eligible for certain neighborhoods like Third Street in the Bayview, The Excelsior, San Bruno Avenue, Ocean Avenue, Noriega Street, Taraval Street and Visitacion Valley.

But this should help bring a few new watering holes to create local neighborhood hangouts rather than simply oversaturation Valencia Street and Hayes Valley.

So far, talk about this has only been positive. “Many people in these areas don’t like the idea of having to leave their neighborhood to get a certain type of restaurant experience,” said Ben Van Houten, city program manager on nightlife and entertainment.

I think that’s a fancy way of saying that we all want more booze, which we fully support. Cheers!

Read more on SFist and San Francisco Business Times