About Liquor Licensing

Picture of dark bar with liquor bottles and bartender in a mask. Text reads: New! Submit Liquor License Applications Digitally
This guide will help you understand how to apply for a liquor license with the City of Portland.
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Serving alcohol and managing people who are consuming alcohol are big responsibilities. The goals of the City of Portland's Liquor Licensing Program are to help you provide this service in a way that brings people together, ensures safe practices, and contributes to the vibrancy of our communities.

The Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission (OLCC) holds sole authority to grant, deny or restrict a liquor license. The City of Portland’s role in liquor licensing is to act as a local processor of applications, provide information to support the OLCC in their decision making, and support local community building.
We do not process or provide bartender or servers permits. The OLCC provides server permits here

License Types

About the Application Process

It takes the City 30 days to process a liquor license once a complete application packet is received. 

Upon receipt of a complete application, the City of Portland will develop a recommendation on the application in two ways: 

  1. The Liquor Program sends the application to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). The PPB will use the Personal History Forms to do background checks and will investigate the location for any concerns. The appropriate PPB precinct (Central, North or East) will then make a recommendation on the application. This recommendation is sent to the OLCC as part of the application process. 
  2. The Liquor Program launches a public notification effort by posting the application online and, for new outlets, mailing a postcard to neighbors within a 300-foot radius of the license location requesting comments of support or opposition within 30 days of the application submission. All responses are public record and are shared with the OLCC as part of the application process.

Liquor License Comment Form

Great gathering spaces are an important part of any thriving community. A bar or restaurant can be a valuable community hangout and help to strengthen a sense of identity and connection. It’s important that liquor license holders, neighbors, and City agencies work together to maintain the vibrancy and safety of our neighborhoods.

Community members are allowed to submit comments about a liquor license application in process; the comment form must be completed and returned within 30 days of which the application has been received by the City of Portland's Liquor License Program. Comments submitted will become part of the permanent public record for the specified liquor license and will be made available upon request. To view a current pending liquor license applications, please visit: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/61884 

To submit your comments about a liquor license application in process, send an email to Liquor@portlandoregon.gov or mail comments to 1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR, 97204 (*Note New Address*). All comments *must* include the address of the liquor license application, your name, and address or they will not be considered. Comments submitted become part of the permanent public record for the specified liquor license and will be made available upon request.

Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.