AB 1217 Will Preserve Regulatory Flexibility Adopted During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Noah Marty
- Legislative/Communications Assistant
SACRAMENTO, CA — Earlier this week, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation to sustain outdoor dining across California by extending regulatory flexibility adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D - Encino), Assembly Bill (AB) 1217 will enable continued outdoor, patio, and al fresco dining as restaurants continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and navigate rising costs.
“Neighborhood restaurants are the backbone of communities across California, but many are still struggling to recover from the pandemic,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. “Outdoor dining has been a critical lifeline that has helped these beloved establishments keep their doors open during these challenging times. I am grateful to Governor Newsom for signing this bill today and look forward to working closely with him to support small businesses across California.”
"Outdoor dining has become an important lifeline for restaurants, and it's something that we have all come to love and enjoy,” said Madelyn Alfano, Past Chair of the California Restaurant Association Board of Directors and owner of Maria’s Italian Kitchen, a neighborhood Italian restaurant with several locations in the San Fernando Valley. “Many restaurant owners have invested lots of money to build beautiful outdoor dining spaces to increase their capacity for private events and recoup some of their losses from these difficult past few years. AB 1217 will help sustain this crucial tool and allow local restaurants such as my own to continue to provide delicious meals for our communities.”
AB 1217 builds upon AB 61, which was authored by Assemblymember Gabriel and signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2021. AB 61 provided restaurants with regulatory flexibility on a number of key issues, including enabling more outdoor food preparation and service, allowing restaurants to better use their own spaces for increased outdoor dining capacity, and extending existing orders allowing for alcohol service on outdoor premises. AB 1217 extends this regulatory flexibility to July 1, 2026.