Changes Afoot for Oakland’s Cabaret Laws?

Changes to Oakland’s cabaret laws will take a step closer to reality by being discussed by the Public Safety Committee this evening and will then go to the City Council for approval. As we previously reported, the changes — first proposed by Councilmembers Nancy Nadel and Rebecca Kaplan in October — aim to smooth the process for businesses opening up in Oakland, lessen the permit costs for small businesses, and ease the burden for police regarding late-night activity. After input from the city administrator’s office and Oakland police, the amended proposal includes changing the definition of “cabaret” to exclude restaurants with live music, increasing the cabaret permit renewal fee for the redefined businesses and lowering the price for small ones, outlining the process and timeline for certain businesses to gain extended hours, and detailing the fee for those extended-hours businesses.

According to the report submitted to the Public Safety Committee, a cabaret would be redefined as “any place where the general public is admitted for a fee, entertainment is provided, and alcohol is served. A place that does not charge for admission but where the general public is admitted, alcohol is served, dancing is permitted, and the venue operates past 12:00 a.m. shall also be construed as a cabaret.” Restaurants that hold live music as an accompaniment to dining would be excluded from this definition.

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