Outdoor dining in California (bone appetit)

California’s Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Assembly Bill 1965.  The law will take effect on 1 January 2015 and will officially remove a ban on pets in restaurants.

For restaurants who want to allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas, the law officially allows them to do so.  (Technically, restaurants that have allowed dogs in patio and other outdoor areas were breaking the law.)

This lead to inconsistent enforcement across the State.

Gary Ellis, left, and his dog Wilco, a Saluki, enjoy dinner at Zazie restaurant in San Francisco. Photo: Brant Ward, San Francisco Chronicle

Gary Ellis, left, and his dog Wilco, a Saluki, enjoy dinner at Zazie restaurant in San Francisco. Photo: Brant Ward, San Francisco Chronicle

“Amidst all the horrific and depressing news around us, I hope this bill helps make people a little happier, and businesses who wish to accommodate diners with dogs safe from being unnecessarily cited,” said assembly member Mariko Yamada, who championed the bill, on her Facebook page.

To comply, a restaurant must have an outdoor entrance that doesn’t require the pet to walk through the restaurant to get to the outdoor area and pets are not allowed in areas of food preparation.

“It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner,” Yamada said.   “I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’.”

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