louisiana: house votes to alter definition of 'restaurant'

Source: Associated Press

Louisiana restaurant owners have won House backing of a measure making sure they can offer drink specials and live entertainment without running afoul of state alcohol permits.

The bill, approved 63-29 Monday, arose from disputes between restaurants and state alcohol Commissioner Murphy Painter.

Painter has fined businesses with restaurant licenses, claiming they operate as bars because they have drink specials or shut down their kitchens and have live music with only liquor served.

Sen. Lydia Jackson's bill would allow such establishments to keep their restaurant licenses if they meet requirements that include drawing at least half their income from the sale of food and non-alcoholic drinks. It still needs Senate passage of some House language changes.