Photo of a bar
Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Starting March 27, 2024, the state of North Carolina will require any bar that prepares, serves or sells food to obtain a food service permit. Ensuring proper sanitation in establishments that serve food is important to public health and the prevention of food-borne illness.

House Bill 125, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly on Oct. 2, 2023, means any bar in Wake County with an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Mixed Beverage Bar permit must either:

  1. Obtain a food service permit and be regulated by the Wake County Health and Safety Division;
  2. Meet the definition of a Private Club to be exempt from the regulations; or
  3. Stop preparing or serving food.

Regardless of whether you serve food or not, if you own a bar, private club, brewery, distillery or winery, Wake County needs to hear from you! Please take two minutes to fill out this form, indicating your status as an establishment. There is an option to select if you are not sure whether you are exempt.

We need to hear from you!

Many bar owners will want to continue serving food, and our Wake County Health and Safety team are here to help you through the steps of applying for a permit. Once a permit is obtained, there are regular inspections, the frequency of which depend on risk factors and how food is served in your establishment.

Ready to apply? Apply through our permit portal for a Food Service Permit. Check out our step-by-step guidance for the application process.

Apply for a permit

If you’re unsure of what permit you might need or need help, email or call 919-856-7417. We’re here to assist and guide you through this transition to stay in compliance with state law.

The NC Restaurant and Lodging Assoc. is hosting a webinar on Monday, Jan. 29 at 1:30 pm to educate bar owners on the new regulations and support compliance.

Join the webinar