Gov. Inslee signs bill waiving liquor license fees for recovering restaurants

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Inslee signed a bill into law waiving the annual liquor license fee for restaurants, wineries and breweries reopening after months of pandemic shutdowns.

The license cost varies by venue, but they are not always cheap—a restaurant that serves beer, wine and spirits must pay as much as $2,210 based on bar size, public houses need to pay $1,105 and beer or wine specialty shops must pay just over $100.

For many local joints finally getting back on their feet after a devastating year, these costs could seem insurmountable.

That is the thrust behind Senate Bill 5272, which is a one-time waiver for liquor and cannabis license fees statewide. While restaurants are getting back into the swing of things, this bill is designed to cut that steep cost.

Currently, all of Washington is in Phase 2 with no plans identified for moving forward yet. This means that restaurants and retail spaces can reopen at 25-percent capacity.