While San Francisco's State Senator Mark Leno is busy trying to extend California's last call until 4 a.m., city Supervisor David Campos is taking
a much more puritanical stance on alcohol sales. [Campos misspoke, see update below]
“I'm for limiting the sale of small alcohol bottles,” the Mission District's supervisor, who hopes to join Leno in Sacramento in 2014, told a crowd of 35 during last Thursday's meeting of the Lower 24th Merchant's & Neighbors Association. He also stated that they “create a number of problems,” but did not elaborate further before changing the subject.
The statement came amidst a discussion about preserving 24th Street's vibrancy, with local merchants hoping that easing the Mission's liquor license moratorium on small, predominately Latino grocers will abate 24th's recent upscale restaurant boom by opening the markets to new sources of revenue. The current prohibitions on liquor licenses favor large, corporate businesses at the expense of small neighborhood markets, such as Casa Lucas on 24th and Alabama.
Currently, a market must be over 5,000 sq ft to apply for a license—smaller neighborhood markets are prohibited from obtaining one—and obey a strict set of limitations as to what they can and cannot sell.
Campos indicated that he supports allowing all markets, regardless of size, to obtain liquor licenses, but supports controlling what they can and cannot sell for an unspecified public good.
We are left to speculate that banning tall boys is Campos's strategy for fighting alcoholism and vagrancy, which strikes us as a very ineffective and Bloombergian solution to a noticeably declining problem.
We reached out to Campos's staff for clarification on his position, but are yet to hear back. In the meantime, we're ever-so glad Dolores Park falls outside his jurisdiction.
Updated @ 5:40pm: Campos's aide Nate Albee got back to us and clarified his position. Campos had meant to say that he supports the ABC regulations as they stand now, which ban “airplane bottles” (usually sized between 1 or 2 ounces) of hard booze and individual beer bottles less than 24oz from being sold in grocery stores, and he merely wants to expand the pool of businesses that can apply for licenses to sell liquor. Needless to say, his remarks didn't come out clearly.
Campos hopes to file legislation in the coming weeks to allow small grocery stores to sell beer and wine.