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San Francisco Type 47s

A Type 47 license is for an On-Sale General for Bona Fide Public Eating Place. It allows the sale of all kinds of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, distilled spirits) at a place that serves food to the public. These licenses, like others in San Francisco, are extremely difficult to acquire. The California Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (ABC) limits the number of on-sale general liquor licenses that can be issued to one for each 2,000, or fraction thereof, of inhabitants of the county in which the licensed establishment is situated (see Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 23816). If there is already one on-sale general license issued for each 2,000 people in a county, then no new licenses can be issued. Licenses that already exist can, however, be transferred to new locations.

Once a year the ABC announces counties where new on-sale liquor licenses will be issued, but because of the density of alcoholic beverage licenses in San Francisco county new licenses haven’t been allowed for years and may never be allowed again unless the population density of the county greatly increases. Earlier this month, the ABC announced new liquor license authorizations for counties where the population density has increased (you can read the ABC’s announcement here). These new applications, along with the ability to apply for priority applications to transfer on-sale general and off-sale general licenses between counties, will be accepted by the ABC from September 10th through 21st. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to start a restaurant in San Francisco you’re stuck buying a license on the open market, which can be difficult given their rarity and expense (typically six figures). If you have questions about opening a business that sells alcoholic beverages in San Francisco, please feel free to contact any of the Strike Kerr & Johns attorneys.


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