Supes Pass Alcohol Fee; Newsom Veto Almost Certain

  • By John Birdsall, SFoodie Editor
  • Tue Sep 14th, 2010 4:19pm
  • DiningSFoodie
Thirsty Bear owner Ron Silberstein argued forcefully against the fee.

The Board of Supervisors today passed the infamous “Charge for Harm” fee, which puts the squeeze on alcohol wholesalers to offset costs of detox centers and other drunk services to the tune of $16 million. Owners of certain city bars and microbreweries (Café Du Nord, Thirsty Bear) were vociferous in their disdain for the fee, which they warned would further erode profit margins for restaurants and taverns.

Today's vote tally: seven for, three against, with Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier recusing herself (who knew? She has a wholesaler's license associated with the wine business she co-owns). Joe Eskenazi of our sister blog The Snitch offers a bit of analysis, and a prediction. Eskenazi:

The proposal stands about as much chance of making it into law as a glass of Chivas Regal stood of being untouched among a roomful of Prohibition-era alkies with the DTs ― as it did not receive enough votes to override a promised mayoral veto.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at

View Comments