State of the Plate HOSTPAC

State of the Plate Luncheons focus on a regulatory theme that impacts restaurants. Elected officials and regulators are invited to provide restaurant operators with useful information related to the subject. This is a great way to talk with invited legislators on a variety of current government-affairs related topics such as liquor law, health code, small business challenges, labor law, business tax credits or any issues that may affect you and your business. An update on current legislation that CRA is monitoring is summarized at each meeting. 

For questions about registration, upcoming topic ideas or hosting the CRA State of the Plate Luncheons, contact:
Sara Nakon
(303) 830-2972 


June 25, Join us at the next State of the Plate as we discuss the 2015 Legislative Session and strategize our approach to 2016.

To register, click here.

Now that the 2015 legislative session has ended, we are contemplating our next steps to continue our advocacy efforts. Join us as we discuss the current status of state and federal issues, and begin to discuss our legislative agenda for 2016. Representatives from the National Restaurant Association will be on hand to answer questions on federal issues important to our industry, and CRA staff will address state and local issues. It is critical for members to share their opinions on the many advocacy efforts and legal issues facing our industry. Discussion topics may include: minimum wage, fair employee scheduling, liquor licensing for servers, strong beer and wine in grocery stores, powdered alcohol, retail food establishment license fees, unions and tax incentives, among others.

We welcome any and all members to join our advocacy efforts. Let your voice be heard and make a difference.


Colorado Restaurant Association Liquor Enforcement DivisionMarch 26, 2015
Lime at Denver Pavilions

State of the Plate brings you…News from the Liquor Enforcement Division

Pictured are: Karen Kristopeit-Parker, Fresh Fish Company; Ken Nelson, Breckenridge Park & Main; Patrick Maroney, Director - Colorado LED; Sonia Riggs, CRA President & CEO; Lacee Artist, Artist and Associates; and Nick Hoover, CRA Government Affairs Coordinator.

Interesting changes are taking place with our colleagues at the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division (LED). At the March State of the Plate luncheon, Patrick Maroney, the LED Director, joined the group to lead a lively discussion on recent legislation, and shared some changes occurring at the LED. He discussed the recent passage of House Bill 1202 regarding liquor license reissue changes, House Bill 1204 regarding adding distillery pub licenses, and House Bill 1217 regarding new regulations around manufacturer's sales rooms.

But the majority of our discussion revolved around the newly passed House Bill 1031 regarding the regulation of powdered alcohol. While nearly the entire Colorado liquor industry was opposed to the introduction of this product, the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) recently decided to approve labels for powdered alcohol. This approval will allow powdered alcohol to be sold in Colorado, but our state's current rules are not adequate to address the challenges that come with the proper and appropriate regulation of powdered alcohol. In response to the current TTB decision and in light of House Bill 1031, the LED will create a working group to review and develop rules to address concerns, issues, licensing and enforcement of powdered alcohol. The CRA will participate in this working group in order to address concerns for the restaurant industry.

Other news from the LED includes the streamlining of enforcement efforts, combining both liquor and tobacco units for enforcement creating a better footprint for liquor/tobacco investigators across the state. The LED has reorganized some personnel to add staff to the licensing unit for faster service in processing liquor applications, changes and renewals. They've also issued a new change of information form (DR 8009) to ease the process of updating information when changes occur rather than waiting until renewal. Finally, they're conducting trainings and meet & greet events around the state to communicate with people in the liquor industry. All of this information can be found on their website:

Colorado Restaurant Association Representative SingerFebruary 19, 2015
Sullivan's Steak House

State of the Plate with Representative Singer

Thank you to Representative Singer for joining us at the February State of the Plate at Sullivan's. Pictured from left: Nick Hoover – CRA Government Affairs Coordinator, Rep. Singer, Sonia Riggs – CRA President & CEO

For those of you who weren't able to attend our "State of the Plate" event on February 19 at Sullivan's, you missed a terrific event. Representative Singer (D-Longmont), spoke to us about two pieces of legislation that he is sponsoring that directly impact our industry. First, House Bill 1202 regarding Liquor License Renewal, would allow a licensee whose license has expired for more than 90 days, but less than 180 days to apply for a reissued license rather than a new license and pay late fees and penalties. Currently, there is no option to reissue a license 90 days after expiration, for any reason, including natural disasters. This recently became an issue for one of Rep. Singer's constituents in Lyons after the flooding in 2013.

He also spoke about House Bill 1217 regarding Manufacturer's Sales Rooms. This bill would give local licensing authorities some input on the approval of a manufacturer's sales room license. Currently, manufacturers are only licensed through the state Liquor Enforcement Division. The Colorado Restaurant Association is in support of both of these bills.

Colorado Restaurant Association - Blue RibbonJanuary 7, 2015
Brown Palace Hotel

Blue Ribbon Legislative Reception

In lieu of a State of the Plate Luncheon in January, our members were treated to the annual Blue Ribbon Legislative Session which takes place on the opening day of the Colorado Legislative Session. This not-to-miss event is always popular as members mingle with state Senators and Representatives on their first day back in the capitol. This is an opportunity to welcome newly elected legislators as well as thank those legislators who have worked with us in the past. We were addressed by Governor John Hickenlooper, new house leader Bill Cadman, and new Speaker of the House Dickey Lee Hullinghorst. Special thank you to the many restaurants who provided tastes for the event, and to the Brown Palace for their extraordinary hospitality.

CRA Todd Fredericson State of the Plate Colorado Restaurant AssociationNovember 6, 2014
Maggiano's Little Italy, Denver Pavilions

State of the Plate presents Labor Law Updates

During this packed room session, we had a lively discussion with Todd Frederickson of Fisher and Phillips as he helped us understand how businesses can stay in compliance with new and changing labor laws in Colorado. He provided a state labor and employment law update including new Colorado "Wage Theft" laws and regulations, he discussed wage and hour regulations, minimum wage and tipped minimum wage, overtime and hours worked regulations, and helped provide us with tools to stay in compliance.

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Network with fellow business owners, stay up to date on legislative issues important to our industry, connect with your peers, take advantage of significant savings opportunities and stay informed. Join the Colorado Restaurant Association!

Restaurant Owners – The CRA is a full-service solution for every type and size of restaurant. We are powerful advocates for the industry, an information hub and a catalyst for networking. And we’re committed to offering meaningful benefits and resources you need to run a profitable business.

Service Providers - Companies that serve restaurants have a strong ally in the CRA. Our restaurant members look to the CRA members first when seeking products and services, they also make the real connections with service providers at local and state events.

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