Oceanside City Council Passes Alcohol Ban at Fast Food Restaurants

One North County city has placed a ban on the sale of alcohol at fast food restaurants -- for all future locations.

The Oceanside City Council voted Wednesday evening on an ordinance to prevent other fast food restaurants from adding beer or wine to their menu. In this case, fast food restaurants are considered any restaurant with a drive-up, drive-thru or walk-up window.

However, the ban only applies to new establishments or those that don't have an existing license filed. Places that already have a beer and wine license can keep it.

Supporters of the ban say that there is nothing right now to prevent even a McDonald’s or Burger King from adding alcohol to their menu. A Taco Bell in Chicago recently applied for a liquor license, the supporters say, and the more alcohol available, the more the community tends to have problems. 

"They (fast food restaurants) tend to be where a lot of young people congregate, a lot of young people have their first job at fast food restaurants and we’re just trying to limit the expansion and availability of acohol to young people and the community in general," said Erica Leary, with the North Coastal Prevention Coalition. 

Those with concerns about the proposal say it would hurt breweries and jobs in the area.

Fast food restaurant Angelo’s Burger has been selling alcohol in Oceanside for nearly 40 years now. They are protected by the grandfather clause in the ordinance, but the idea of not being able to sell alcohol is still a concern for them.

"Absolutely, it would affect the business, because we have people that just come in; they drive home, they stop here, they come here after work, and they just get a beer, so yeah it would," said Eleni Regakis with Angelo's Burger's. "And I think not only would it hurt our business, we'd have a lot of upset customers; it would hurt breweries, it would hurt a lot of jobs."

Both Leary and Regakis appeared for the public comment part of the city council meeting.

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