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LCB guidance for adding or extending outside liquor service

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As more counties move to Phase 2 of the Safe Start Washington plan, restaurants are starting to look outside to find ways to increase seating.

The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board is accepting alteration request applications for spirits/beer/wine or beer/wine restaurants here. For any other license type allowed services click here.

You must meet the following requirements before the LCB will approve your application:

  • There must be access from the interior of the licensed premises to the outside service area;
  • There must be wait staff dedicated to the outside service area when customers are present;
  • Liquor licensees must have leasehold rights to the outside service area, or they must have permission from their local authority to utilize the area for outside service;
  • Outside service areas must be adjacent and contiguous to the licensed business. The area must not be communal or shared with other liquor licensees;
  • There must be a permanent or movable barrier a minimum of 42 inches in height that encloses the outside service area. The WSLCB may grant limited exceptions to this required barrier. Please also note that licensees in areas that allow sidewalk cafes may apply to use a demarcation in lieu of a barrier; and
  • Openings into and out of the outside service area cannot exceed 10 feet. If there is more than one opening along one side, the total combined opening may not exceed 10 feet.

The process from submittal to a decision typically takes 14-21 days but are being prioritized to assist with shorter turnaround times.

Please note that that the WSLCB does not need to be notified if a liquor licensee wants to move furniture within an existing licensed space or within an approved outside service area in order to meet social distancing requirements.

Read all of the LCB’s guidelines for alcohol licensees during the pandemic here: https://lcb.wa.gov/covid19/covid-19_alcohol_licensee_guidelines

For questions about these requirements, please contact Beth Lehman at beth.lehman@lcb.wa.gov or Nicola Reid at nicola.reid@lcb.wa.gov.