Getting Drinks Is Possible In The Golden State – With An Asterisk
Attempting to follow whether or not California bars are open is like trying to follow the U.S. tax code.
Except the rules in the Golden State often change on a monthly, weekly or – so it seems – daily basis rather than once a year.
Here is the current situation, tho it will likely change and PubClub.com will keep this article up to date. Keep in mind that the rules – and in particular the enforcement – is different from city to city and sometimes even bar to bar.
As one example of the latter, since the re-opening of outdoor dining the first part of 2021, the requirement of having to have food to get a drink seemed to have disappeared. Until I went into one establishment in which one order of food per table was required.
Upon inquiry since no other bar or restaurant I had been to the past month had this rule, the server said, “we’re just doing what our attorneys tell us to do” in regards to the situation. So you often won’t really know the rules until you sit down at a bar or restaurant.
And that is is asterisk.
All that being said, here is the current situation.
Yes, the bars are open. Those that do serve food anyway. That is why some breweries are not open. Tho, in the confusing California COVID rules situation, it does not explain why wineries that do not serve food are open (tho the fact that Gov. Gavin Newsom owns wineries may have something to do with it).
Technically, it’s only for outdoor dining and drinking. And only until 10 p.m. (So start your drinking early!).
But here again there’s an asterisk. At some places, you can sit inside. But only part of the inside.
If you are looking for an explanation, the best I can offer is this: if a place has tables by big, open windows then that is considered “outside.” Either that or the bars and restaurants are assuming that is okay and are doing it until told otherwise.
By March, with dropping COVID numbers and rising petition numbers to vote Newsom out of office before his term is completed, indoor dining on a limited – less than 50% – is returning soon.
And here’s another thing that was never before available in the Golden State: you can get drinks to go and consume them as if you are in New Orleans.
The bottom line is that yes, bars are open in California.