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Hermosa Beach considers differences between bars and restaurants

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Hermosa Beach city council is considering using the 50/50 rule on food to alcohol sales ratios as an enforcement tool for restaurants with multiple violations, rather than a requrement for all. The change could affect many restaurants in downtown Hermosa Beach, such as Baja Sharkeez, that some residents and city officials say act more like bars.  Staff Photo.

Hermosa Beach city council is considering using the 50/50 ratio of food sales to alcohol sales  as an enforcement tool to prevent restaurants from operating more as bars.


The distinction between bars and restaurants is being examined by the Hermosa Beach city council.

The city generally requires restaurants to have no more than 50 percent of their sales come from alcohol. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, the council voted to instruct the planning commission to study using the 50/50 rule to prevent restaurants from functioning more as bars.

The council also asked the planning commission to look at changing the definition of a restaurant to include requirements such as keeping the kitchen open until 30 minutes before closing.

Council member Nannette Barragan initially opposed the idea.

“It’s just going to open the door to having this provision [50 pecent food sales, 50 percent alcohol sales] removed,” Barragan said.

She relented when the enforcement of all conditional use permit requirements was included to the motion, which passed on a 3-2 vote. Mayor Michael DiVirgilo and Council Member Carolyn Petty opposed the motion.

City Manager Tom Bakaly said the matter will go before the planning commission next month and be back before council in November.


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