CA’s new virus dining rules list wings and calamari among foods that ‘aren’t meals’ so you CAN’T get booze with them


CALIFORNIA’s new coronavirus dining rules state that wings, calamari, and fries aren’t real meals – so customers can’t get booze if they order them.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agency made the announcement as the state cracks down on outdoor restaurants serving alcohol to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The ABC’s guidelines delve into what constitutes a “meal” after Gov Gavin Newsom rolled back the reopening and ordered all bars to shut again.

Restaurants can still offer outdoor dining – but now, there are strict alcohol restrictions in place.

The alcohol agency’s said snacks like pretzels, nuts, popcorn, pickles and chips what do “not constitute a bona fide meal.”

But neither do appetizers including fried calamari, chicken wings, pizza bites, cheese sticks, flautas, egg rolls, pot stickers, and cups of soups.

Likewise, French fries, onion rings and desserts aren’t considered to be substantial meals.

However, the agency conceded that pre-packaged sandwiches and salads could prove to be “substantial and can constitute legitimate meals” even if they don’t exactly meet the protocol.

The ABC statement read: “Given the tremendous variety of foods available at the many different licensed premises, this definition provides necessary flexibility to look at the totality of the circumstances in determining whether or not the food service provided by a licensee is a legitimate offering of meals in a bona fide manner.

“Although multiple courses are not required to constitute a meal, in order for the patron to be served a meal there should be a sufficient quantity that it would constitute a main course in a multiple-course dining experience.”

California has been hard-hit by coronavirus once more, with a recorded 413,579 cases on Wednesday after a record surge of 12,807 new daily infections.

Although Newsom began reopening the economy in May and June, the soaring infection rate prompted him to issue another round of business restrictions.

He announced the closure of some indoor venues like bars, restaurants, movie theaters, zoos and museums, while gyms, churches and hair salons to shutter in 30 counties.

But the new restaurant rules have been met with backlash online.

Some Twitter used decried the state’s policing of their meals, while others quipped that “claiming wings and fries is not a meal is an affront to my basic dignity as a person.”

In New York, Gov Andrew Cuomo also tightened outdoor dining rules last week.

This means bars will have to sell substantial meals if people want to order alcohol after outdoor dining resumed on June 22.

But some places then started a “Dollar Menu,” with selections like the $1 “Cuomo chips” one Saratoga bar was offering.

This week, Cuomo and the State Liquor Authority on Wednesday ordered that eateries had to serve “substantial” meals if they want to remain open, however.

“As a restaurant or bar owner, in determining whether a particular item is substantial enough, please keep in mind the purpose of this policy,” read the SLA guidance said.

“[It’s] to ensure that patrons are enjoying a sit-down dining experience among a small group with drinks, and not a drinking, bar-type experience,”

On Tuesday, the governor told reporters the state liquor authority suspended 27 bar and restaurant alcohol licenses for violations of social distancing rules during the COVID crisis.

“We never authorized bar operations,” Cuomo said at a press briefing. “By the words themselves, outdoor dining is not a bar operation.

“The word is dining. You don’t dine when you go to a restaurant to drink. That is drinking, and it would’ve been outside drinking that we authorized.”

Cuomo explained that younger people were big transmitters of the virus but large groups of people were still congregating outside some NY bars.

He said “we will have to roll back the bar and restaurant opening if the congregations continue, if the local governments don’t stop it.”


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