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Emergency Management & Public Health

Posted on: June 4, 2020

ABC Issues Guidance on New Outdoor Dining Permits

The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has created a new permit for licensed premises to expand their premises to allow for reasonable seating capacity while observing social distancing guidelines. The COVID-19 Expansion Permit is available to all retail consumption and club licensees as well as golf facilities, certain brewery and winery licensees, craft distillery, and cidery and meadery licensees. The permit will require the endorsement by the municipal clerk and chief of police to ensure that local concerns, such as hours, proximity to neighbors, site plan approvals, and other local concerns are taken into account. Special conditions may be incorporated into permits if needed to address particular circumstances.

Subject to local approval, the permit will allow for expansion into areas adjacent to or contiguous to the licensed premises, such as public or private decks, patios, sidewalks and parking lots, or non- contiguous areas, such as municipally established “parklets” or other public rights-of-way, as long as these areas are reasonably accessible from the licensed premise. 

The licensee will have to show it has the legal right to use the property or they have a lease agreement or some other written document from the owner. For public property, they must have a resolution, ordinance, or express written permission for the public entity.

Please note that off-premise consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas is within the jurisdiction of each municipality.

The permit will become available on June 5 through the ABC’s Online licensing system (POSSE) and will expire on November 30, 2020. There is a one-time $75 fee for the permit.

Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, lbuckelew@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x112.


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