Updated At-A-Glance Guidance for Licensees Regarding Safe Start Phases

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Aug. 20, 2020

At a Glance: Guidance for LCB Licensees

Updated August 19, 2020


A complete, updated list of COVID-19 Phases and guidelines is on Washington State’s website.

Phase 2 and 3: LCB licensed businesses allowed to have indoor on-premises consumption includes:

  • Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurants
  • Beer/Wine Restaurants
  • Hotel Restaurants
  • Taverns*
  • Breweries*
  • Wineries*
  • Distilleries*
  • Private Clubs*


*Indoor seating is prohibited unless the establishment provides all of the following:

  1. Allowed only if the Breweries, wineries, distilleries, taverns, and private clubs must offer no less than three menu items meeting the food types as required under the Safe Start guidelines (such as sandwiches, salad, soup, pizza, hamburgers, fry orders, or substantial hors d'oeuvres/appetizers)
  2. Obtain any required food service permit/license from their local jurisdiction
  3. Foods may be fresh, processed, commercially pre-packaged and ready to eat, or frozen
  4. No additional handling or preparation is required beyond what is allowed under a brewery, winery, distillery, tavern, or private club licensee’s local food handling permit
  5. Breweries, wineries, distilleries, taverns, and private clubs may purchase items from a caterer, licensed food preparation/packaging operation(restaurant) for resale, as long as local health departments allow for this type of sale. Food must be purchased in advance and may not be sold on consignment, and must be sold and provided on site by the licensee.
  6. Regardless of the food provided, breweries, wineries, distilleries, taverns, and private clubs may only sell alcohol that they are licensed by LCB to sell
  7. If a brewery, winery, distillery, tavern, or private club wants to become a Beer/Wine (BW) Restaurant or a Spirits/Beer/Wine (SBW) Restaurant before, during, or after Phase 4, they must submit an application to LCB to convert their license type and must meet the food requirements set forth at WAC 314-02-010(14) (BW Restaurant) or WAC 314-02-035 (SBW Restaurant)
  8. These food service requirements are in addition to the COVID-19 restaurant guidance and restrictions, and are set forth in efforts to allow limited non-restaurant liquor license businesses an opportunity to operate with indoor service during Phase 2 and 3 of the governor’s proclamation. The intent is to allow limited operations mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection spread, by avoiding social gatherings and primarily social drinking outlets.
  9. These food service requirement will be in place until phase 4 reopening of businesses, and may be modified in response to governor and public health guideline changes.


Phase 2 and 3: LCB licensed businesses who are allowed to have outdoor consumption include:

  • Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurants
  • Beer/Wine Restaurants
  • Taverns
  • Private Clubs
  • Breweries
  • Wineries
  • Distilleries
  • Snack Bars


Phase 2 and 3: LCB licensed businesses allowed to engage in alcohol to-go orders includes:

  • Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurants
  • Beer/Wine Restaurants
  • Taverns
  • Breweries
  • Wineries
  • Distilleries
  • Snack bars
  • Nonprofit arts
  • Caterers for home delivery


Phase 2 and 3: Business activities that are prohibited

  • Live entertainment
  • Indoor family entertainment
    • Mini golf
    • Bowling
    • Arcades
  • Pool tables
  • Dart boards
  • Indoor card rooms
  • Any reception activity at a liquor licensed premises, to include hotel manager receptions
  • All sampling and tasting events, including those occurring at off-premises licensees such as grocery stores and specialty shops
  • Other close social gaming areas and operations


Phase 2 and 3 Requirements for all on-premises licensees (including indoor and outdoor alcohol service):

  • Alcohol sales, service, and consumption for on premises dining and consumption must be discontinued by 10:00pm (this does not apply to hotel room service, or to go sales for businesses normally approved for this type of service)
  • Operate at or below 50% customer capacity
  • No “bar top” seating or service
    • This is the area with a bar table/counter where patrons sit or stand side-by-side. If an establishment has bar area seating it must be closed off to prohibit use
    • Counter-style seating is permitted in other areas of the establishment so long as it is not part of or an extension of bar top seating (indoors or outdoors). Six feet of distance is required between parties and other tables
  • All tables are limited to 5 guests or less
  • All guests dining indoors at a table are limited to members of the same household
  • Seating/tables must be “distanced”

Other Phase 2 rules apply and are available at this link.


Phase 3: Movie theaters may open (up to 25% of customer capacity)


Phase 4: Starts a 30-day withdrawal of the special allowances the LCB made during the COVID-19 shutdowns. Phase 4 also allows for opening:

  • Nightclubs
  • Sports/Entertainment facilities
  • Special Occasions (expanded events to over 50 people)