Ventura County bars can reopen outdoors if they serve food, officials say

Matt and Leanne Harmon of Santa Clarita enjoy a beer at Ventura Coast Brewing Co.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Bars, breweries and other businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages were given the green light Friday to reopen some outdoor services in Ventura County.

The order issued by the county’s health officer, Robert Levin, eased restrictions given July 2 that shut down operations at local facilities without restaurant permits.

The county’s new order — which went into effect Thursday but wasn’t announced until the following day — allows bars, pubs and breweries to open outdoor services if they serve meals as well. Alcohol can only be sold in the same transaction as a meal, the news release states.

Officials also said that wineries and wine tasting rooms could open outdoor operations even if they didn’t serve food.


Bars in these California counties are immediately affected by the state order: Los Angeles, Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings and Imperial.

Current indoor-service restrictions put in place in late June remain for both restaurants and bars. Local officials have asked those facilities to encourage takeout and delivery service whenever possible.

Ventura County’s latest order, which is more restrictive than state regulations, also states that only members of the same household may sit together at a single table, and the maximum time a patron may be on the premises is no longer than one hour and 30 minutes.

The order also states that facilities must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

As of Monday, the county had reported 5,192 cases and 57 coronavirus-related deaths.