In this post, I will discuss the Type 68 Portable Bar Counter license and the Duplicate license and how they differ. Both of these licenses are “non-master” type licenses. In other words, they do not stand alone. They require a master license to operate; e.g., Type 47 or 48, On-Sale General (permitting the sale of beer, wine and spirits for on-premise consumption). Both the Type 68 Portable Bar Counter and the Duplicate license are for premises with more than one room, such as a hotel.
First, some concepts. A person licensed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) may not exercise his license privileges in any area not licensed. How do we know what areas are licensed? When an applicant first applies for a license, he must submit a diagram of his licensed premises. The ABC keeps the diagram on file, and the licensee cannot make any alterations or changes to the building as shown on the diagram without prior written permission from the ABC. Rule 64.2, California Code of Regulations, describes what physical changes a licensee cannot make without the ABC’s permission. It’s rather involved, so I won’t get into it here.
In any event, the ABC may license a building, buildings, portion of a building(s), or contiguous property. Contiguous property includes spaces like patios, pavilions and pool sides. In all cases, the license applicant must have sole control over the sales and service of alcoholic beverages and is responsible for any activities, legal or illegal, going on in those spaces.
What is a Duplicate license? It is a non-master license for an establishment with more than one room. It is needed by any On-Sale General licensee who regularly maintains a fixed counter or bar or service bar in a room at which patrons consume spirits. The licensee must obtain a Duplicate license for each room where these counters or bars are placed. It is not uncommon for a licensee to have several Duplicate licenses. Regularly maintains means the business uses the bar at least 26 days per calendar year.
The ABC may issue the Duplicate license as a public premises, meaning only guests age 21 and older may enter the room, or as a bona fide eating place where full meals are required and guests under age 21 are, in fact, allowed. It depends on what the licensee wants. Upon request, the ABC may also issue a Duplicate license for use by designated persons.
Duplicate licenses fees range from $292 to $697. The exact fee depends on the population of your city. The higher the population, the greater the fee. Section 24042 of the Business and Professions Code governs Duplicate licenses.
Whereas, the Duplicate license has been around since the 1950s, it wasn’t until 1988 that the ABC began issuing the Type 68, Portable Bar Counter license. This newer type of license allows for more flexibility. It is an option for a licensee who does not want a Duplicate license to cover an entire room. But rather, the licensee wants the ABC to license a portable bar counter. This portable bar counter, as the name suggests, can be moved from room to room. If the business uses two or more portable bar counters in the same room, at the same time, the ABC licenses only one of them.
Type 68 license fees run $245 to $526 per year. Like the Duplicate license, the fee is based upon population. Section 24042.5 of the Business and Professions Code governs Type 68 licenses.
In calendar year 2010, the ABC issued 72 and renewed 827 Type 68 licenses statewide. In addition, it took ABC an average of 220 days to issue a Type 68 license. This is according to the ABC’s 2010 Annual Report to the Legislature. The report does not show how many Duplicate licenses it issued or renewed or how long they took to issue.
To apply for either a Duplicate license or a Type 68 Portable Bar Counter license, contact your local ABC District Office. You must submit Form ABC-239 along with the required fee.
Lauren Tyson says
Yes, a portable bar license operates under the same laws as the establishment’s primary license (e.g., Type 47). However, I don’t know the specific restrictions that may be in place at your establishment, such as ABC- or city-imposed conditions, so I can’t answer your question about the kitchen-closing situation that you mentioned. I’d be happy to discuss that in a private conversation with you to get more information.
Does the portable bar license extend the primary license of the establishment, and have the same guidelines for sale? Such as with license type 47, do I have to stop service at the portable bar when my kitchen closes?
Lauren Tyson says
Existing California liquor laws don’t provide for a “mobile portable bar” selling only beer that travels from one location to another. Thanks for your question. Lauren
LaVay Greg says
Is there a license to have a mobile portable bar selling only beer. It would be like a food truck going from location to location but only selling beer.
Wesley Jones says
What type of licence do I need to have a portable bar on the upper floor of our American Legion. This would be for special events only.