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Governor Gavin Newsom signs the 2020-2021 state budget. (Photo: CA.gov)

Gov. Newsom’s Alcohol Agency Issues Edict Declaring What a Bar ‘Meal’ Is

Buffalo wings need not apply

By Katy Grimes, July 21, 2020 8:02 am


California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s last lockdown order included closing bars unless they serve food.

However, what constitutes “food” is no longer open to interpretation.

Apparently Buffalo Wings, fried cheese sticks, fried calamari, sandwiches and salads are not considered a “meal” by Gov. Newsom.

Isn’t lunch shaming against the law in California now?

Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove took notice and asked on Facebook, “The Governor of California now puts in writing what constitutes a meal where you can order alcohol- yep – he’s going to tell you what you can and cannot eat for a meal. No more salad and wine – no more beer and wings!”

Immediately following the governor’s lockdown order ahead of the July 4th weekend, he had the Alcoholic Beverage Control agency issue guidelines on “What is required to be considered a ‘meal’?”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a similar order restricting bars to only those which serve food. A new $1 bar menu for The Lafayette is going around and it is hilarious. You can order “A piece of meat; just a few grapes; 9 french fries; or the Smallest Piece of Cheesecake in Buffalo.”

As proof that those on the left have no sense of humor, California clarified what constitutes a real meal in a bar.

In the “Guidance as to what servings of food licensees must prepare and offer to comply with this requirement,” the governor’s agency explains what constitutes a meal in a bar:

“The Department has issued a variety of regulatory relief measures that require the service of a meal. (See, Law and Policy Coronavirus 19 Notices of Relief, items 5 and 16; June 10, 2020, Industry Advisory; and various Frequently Asked Questions.) This Advisory provides guidance as to what servings of food licensees must prepare and offer to comply with this requirement.

Business and Professions Code section 23038 provides that, “Meals” means the usual assortment of foods commonly ordered at various hours of the day; the service of such food and victuals only as sandwiches or salads shall not be deemed a compliance with this requirement.”

Given the tremendous variety of foods available at the many different licensed premises, this definition provides the necessary flexibility to look at the totality of the circumstances in determining whether or not the food service provided by a licensee is a legitimate offering of meals in a bona fide manner. In evaluating this, the Department generally looks at the various menu offerings, availability during typical meal hours, and whether the food offered is served in a reasonable quantity and what a reasonable person might consider being a meal consumed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

For example, although multiple courses are not required to constitute a meal, in order for the patron to be served a meal there should be a sufficient quantity that would constitute the main course in a multiple-course dining experience.

It is often easier to describe what does not constitute a bona fide meal. In that regard, while the statute excludes mere offerings of sandwiches and salad, the Department does recognize that many sandwiches and salads are substantial and can constitute legitimate meals. Once again, the Department looks at the totality of circumstances and generally considers that pre-packaged sandwiches and salads would not typically meet this standard. In addition, the Department will presume that the following, and offerings similar to them, do not meet the meal requirement:

Snacks such as pretzels, nuts, popcorn, pickles, and chips.
Food ordinarily served as appetizers or first courses such
as cheese sticks, fried calamari, chicken wings, pizza bites
(as opposed to pizza), egg rolls, potstickers, flautas, cups of
soup, and any small portion of a dish that may constitute
the main course when it is not served in a full portion or
when it is intended for sharing in small portions.

Side dishes such as bread, rolls, French fries, onion rings,
small salads (green, potato, macaroni, fruit), rice,
mashed potatoes, and small portions of vegetables.

Reheated refrigerated or frozen entrees.


Excuse me bartender, I’ll take 9 french fries.

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59 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom’s Alcohol Agency Issues Edict Declaring What a Bar ‘Meal’ Is

  1. Good point about “lunch shaming.” No kidding.
    Glad you have retained your sense of humor because you’re right, they don’t have one and actually never did, and keeping mine is becoming a struggle when we are being continually jerked around by these jerks.
    This is vindictive, sadistic manipulation that reaches new heights of absurdity daily. That’s apparently how Gov Gav and the rest of them get their kicks. Could they be any more childish?
    But it does sometimes become so absurd it’s comical and I did enjoy the Lafayette $1 menu.
    Thanks for the laugh.

  2. One person’s meal is another person’s snack????
    You cannot make this crap up! Are we really living through this? Someone please pinch me and wake me up.
    @Amy, yes I think dieters and anorexics have a case????

    1. Really. This does remind me of a really long and lurid nightmare. Have often thought of it.
      I’ll bet we’re not alone!

      1. Does this go for the GOVERNORS restaurants and WINERIES also, or just for NORMAL CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS

        1. IT’S BECAUSE PEOPLE CANNOT KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCE AND CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO WEAR A MASK. That’s the reason, you ridiculous over reactive conspiracy numbskulls. FFS, use your brain to fully understand the implications and importance of the various actions being taken because so many people cannot follow simple guidelines. Geezus.

          1. Wow you seem excited. Does typing in all caps make you right? I bet you’re really hoping that they come out with a vaccine as soon as possible, am I right? Will you be the first in line?

          2. So Linda….Regulating the size of your meal you order with your drink helps with social distancing how?

          3. right………..such as those “guidelines” imposed for the accepted….protesters, looters, rioters…..but that to you does not count….sick of the liberal two-faced/double sided point of view…..FREEDOM….was never free, and NEVER INTENDED for only those in power ie: NEWSOM….

          4. If your a sheep and a pussy then stay in your house like the bitch you are!
            You must be dumber then you look! And that must be pretty dumb.
            You left wing liberal tree hugging bastard!

          5. You will see – wait until things really change. You will remember when you warned about what was going to happen to your constitutional rights!

  3. I guess we are now being dictated to on the definition of a meal. We enjoy appetizers and cocktails for lunch or dinner and a couple of them provides enough food for us to consider it a meal.

    1. I agree! Are they really going to tell me I can’t have a salad and glass of wine for lunch? This is crazy.

  4. This has got to be the most insane thing we’ve wasted our tax dollars on. Come on. Can you please let us live our lives? or at least enjoy our one piece of meat in peace!

  5. When is Murdering Newsom going to have the inept legislature actually write LAWS instead of issuing edicts?

  6. What about people with gastric surgeries? What about people who just prefer to get a couple appetizers instead of one heavy meal? Most importantly, what about freedom of assembly? I can’t have a cocktail while I assemble unless I’m also having what you personally deem to be a meal?! Recall now!!!

  7. To me the saddest thing is the legislature lets this boy king do whatever he wants. They will not pull him back from this insanity. I guess they believe he helps them maintain power and that is all that matters to them

    1. Thanks for sharing! I’m going today to my local signing spot in my city, to happily sign this petition!

  8. I constantly been harassed by abc and I have a full menu I don’t know what Gavin is trying to do besides put us outta business!! When they have not given me one dime to help out my business!! I hope he fuckin reads this cause it’s not a joke for me and my family anymore!!!

  9. Since when does Newsom decide what is considered a meal, or what any establishment has on their menu? The Citizens of CA need to make their voices heard and stop pandering to this oversized child.

  10. This is complete idiocy. I should be able to go to any business and partake of the products I choose, no more and no less, without being told what’s ‘okay’ by the bloody Governor of the State of California.

    Stay tuned for the Approved Snacks When Buying Pot list. You’ll have your choice of nachos, a pepperoni pizza, or two boxes of Thin Mints.

    Long live the Democratic People’s Republic of California!

  11. So the state is basically targeting 48 type liquor licenses that do not have a kitchen? They won’t allow us to JV with a restaurant next door or partner with a food truck?
    Wait, so street vendors are legal and thats cool with me but let me partner with a street vendor and serve whatever portion of food you tell me too because with out that permission we will all close our doors. Short term thinking Governor.

  12. That menu is ridiculous. I remember the old Happy Hour, they actually serve a meal. Thst menu is a snack.
    The point is restaurant is essential. The Bar is not, unless your an alcoholic. Good Job Governer Newsom!!!

  13. If a sandwich (hamburger) is not a meal then there are thousands of restaurants in the state that don’t serve meals at all. McD’s does not serve booze but then again I guess they don’t serve meals either.

    No doubt der fuehrer has a private chef prepare him 7 course meals every night to go along with a bottle of vintage wine. I suppose we should be grateful to dear leader that he lets us eat at all.

  14. Fuck Newsome. He’s ruining people’s lives. Is he going to reimburse people’s businesses when they go under? Of course not. He’s been a scofflaw ever since he became a politician but now he wants everyone to obey his decrees. Resist the left!

  15. Don’t let these morons run & ruin your lives. Rebel because there are more us of than them. Enough of this B.S. Covid-19 nothing but a flu. This all about mail-in ballots to put the Demonic Party in control. Don’t fall for it.

  16. This is why I moved my company to Nevada , best move I ever made , the lower cost of doing business more than offset the extra shipping cost !

    1. Unfortunately Nevada’s Democrat Gov. Sisolak’s coronavirus restrictions seem just as arbitrary? Some in Nevada complain that Gov. Steve Sisolak has become nothing more than California’s political stooge?

  17. There are many time I only eat an appetizer because I don’t eat large portions of food. Now there going tell me what I can and cannot eat as a “meal”. Save us all.

  18. How much are we going to put up with? Newsom needs to go and has no interest to see the best for us Californians! This is getting old, disheartening and asinine! Keeps his winery open and thinks he can say what happens with all of CA for food, closing businesses, etc? No wonder why many native CA’s want to move….ruining our beautiful state! Flipping IDIOT!

  19. America, Yuri Bezmenov explained in great detail how they were going to get America to fight itself. I question your elected leaders… I’d be they are on the payroll of an outside source. Globalist agenda from the UN, possibly partially supported by US bureaucrats. Welcome to the new Cold war.

  20. This virus is so intelligent that it can tell the difference between a bar that serves food and one that does not. California….isn’t it time to get rid of this Assclown governor we have???

  21. Jackass Newsome and his b*tch Pelosi decide what they can do, but the rest of us can’t. To get a beer I have to order a “meal”!!! Who is anybody to decide that? I can’t have a light lunch, it has to be a 22oz. Porterhouse? How come you don’t have to order food at wineries? Maybe because Jackass has monetary interests in the wine industry!!!! He’s an effin’ butt hole that needs to be put out on the street. Oh yeah, he can pork his best friend’s wife too, but that seems to be OK with you Libtards because he’s your boy!!!!!

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