To legally sell alcoholic beverages in Lexington, businesses must have an Alcoholic Beverage Control license through two governing agencies:
- Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
- Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (Lexington ABC)
Annual alcoholic beverage licenses expire on November 30, 2021. Licensees must submit license renewal applications to continue alcoholic beverage sales thereafter.
Effective April 19, 2021 restaurants and bars will be allowed to have last call at midnight and close at 1 a.m.
ABC Requirements for Expanded Business Footprint
In conjunction with the requirements set forth in LFUCG Ordinance 42-2020 passed on May 19, 2020, the Lexington ABC Office will need the following information provided by any licensed ABC establishment desiring to expand their current operating premises during the effective time of the ordinance. No additional application will be required, but these documents must be submitted to our office via email at ABC@lexingtonpolice.ky.gov before using the expanded area so the files can be updated.
- A letter from the landlord or property owner granting permission to expand the business to the proposed area.
- A detailed diagram of seating and the new boundaries that will be used for service. Describe the means of separating the new temporary area of service from public areas such as the use of temporary fencing, rope and stanchion, or other method. Keep in mind the distancing to meet ADA requirements.
- A plan on how the business will monitor the expanded premises to ensure compliance with current applicable ABC regulations, such as ensuring patrons are not leaving the premises with open alcoholic beverage containers.
How to apply for an ABC license
*Note: scroll down for information on a Temporary ABC license*
Complete the Kentucky State ABC license application first. Complete all local forms and email them to email@example.com. A check sheet has been provided on the last page of the local application packet.
NOTE: Supporting documentation must include a criminal background check from each state the applicant has resided in during the past five years. The background check(s) MUST be obtained from the approved list included in the local application packet.
Lexington ABC licensing fees MUST be paid prior to the submission of an application. Refer to the ABC License Fee Schedule to determine your license fees and complete the Fee Payment Form. Remit payment via certified check, cashiers check or money order to the:
City of Lexington Revenue Office
200 E. Main St.
Lexington, KY 40507
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person payments are not currently accepted. You may drop the payment in the LexServ box in front of 200 E. Main Street along with this fee payment form and the correct form of payment with ATTN: Revenue. NO CASH ACCEPTED.
The fee payment form must be marked paid by the Revenue Office before bringing it to the LFUCG ABC Office. Checks or money orders should be payable to LFUCG.
The Lexington ABC Final Inspection Form MUST be signed by representatives from the Division of Planning and the Division of Revenue offices prior to the submission of the application. Signatures from a representative of the Fire Prevention Bureau, Division of Building Inspection, and the Environment Health Services MUST be obtained and submitted before the Lexington ABC License will be issued.
Include a diagram/floor plan of the establishment including all detached structures and parking areas.
Include a photocopy of a driver’s license or photo I.D. for all individuals on which a background check has been conducted during the basic application.
Please Note: A dance permit is required for any Lexington ABC licensed establishment allowing dancing by patrons. The dance permit process is separate from the ABC application process.
A dance permit is required for any ABC licensed establishment allowing patrons to dance.
How to apply for a special temporary license
A special temporary license may be issued for any regularly organized fair, exposition, racing association or other party.
You must be a non-profit organization, racing association or political campaign function. If you are a for-profit individual or organization, the event must be part of a bona fide civic event or community-sponsored event.
Malt beverage keg registration ordinance
Lexington ABC retail licensees are required to purchase keg tags and registration forms at the LFUCG Division of Revenue Office prior to selling kegs of six or more gallons.
To purchase the required tags, the licensee will need to complete a Keg Tag Order Form. The fee for each tag and registration form is $5. The fee must be paid in advance at the:
200 E Main St.
Beverage service training
Lexington requires any person who sells or serves alcoholic beverages to obtain training in certain areas.
Approved server training programs in Lexington, Ky:
This ABC Responsible Server Training Pamphlet must be included in all Lexington ABC-approved server training programs.