House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
Commerce & Gaming Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Establishing a soju endorsement to certain restaurant licenses.
Sponsors: Representatives Ryu, Pellicciotti, Goodman, Kirby, Vick, Reeves and Bergquist.
Hearing Date: 1/17/19
Staff: Kyle Raymond (786-7190).
Commercial Liquor Licenses.
The Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) issues various types of commercial liquor licenses, including those for restaurants, beer and/or wine specialty shops, wineries, microbreweries, domestic breweries, and nightclubs.
Restaurant Liquor Licenses.
The LCB issues two licenses for retail sales of liquor at restaurants: (1) a beer and/or wine restaurant license; and (2) a spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license.
A beer and/or wine restaurant license authorizes restaurants to sell beer and/or wine for on-premises consumption, in conjunction with the sale of food. Licensees may obtain a written endorsement from the LCB for catering.
A spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license authorizes restaurants to sell spirits, beer and/or wine for on-premises consumption. Licensees must serve complete meals and meet specific food service, kitchen equipment, and floor space requirements, as defined by LCB rules. Licensees may obtain a written endorsement from the LCB for the sale of off-premises wine consumption, as well as the sale of kegs and growlers for off-premises consumption.
In certain circumstances, the LCB may include special endorsements authorizing the sale of specified alcoholic beverages subject to specified conditions, or impose conditions or restrictions on a license. All conditions, restrictions, and endorsements issued by the LCB must be listed on the face of the license along with the trade name, address, and expiration date of the license. A licensee must post its license in a conspicuous place on the premises.
Alcoholic beverages are, in part, defined by their alcohol by volume content (ABV). Alcoholic beverages exceeding 24 percent ABV are considered spirits whereas wine must contain not more than 24 percent ABV.
Summary of Bill:
A soju licensing endorsement from the LCB is established for the beer and/or wine restaurant license and the spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license. The annual fee for the endorsement is $50.
The endorsement allows the sale of soju at restaurants for on-premises consumption of bottles 375 ml or smaller. Patrons are allowed to remove any unused portion of soju off-premises, if the remaining beverage is recapped and in its original container.
Soju is defined as a distilled alcoholic beverage, imported from Korea and derived from agricultural products, that contains not more than 24 percent ABV.
The LCB must develop and provide information to soju endorsement holders that specifies the soju endorsement requirements. The information must be made available in both in Korean and English languages.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.