Where is it forbidden to open a bar, a cafe, an alcohol outlet?

Verified 12 September 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

It is not possible to open a bar anywhere you want. There are zones where it is prohibited to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on-site (Licenses III and IV). There are also quotas which limit the number of beverage outlets per commune.

The no-go zones deal with what are called beverage establishments alcoholic.

These are the liquor stores that are to be consumed on-site.

Only those with a license III or a IV license are concerned.

So it's primarily the bars and coffees.

Please note

Restaurants that serve alcohol only during meals are not affected.

There can only be1 beverage outlet for 450 inhabitants.

Example :

In a commune of 1,000 inhabitants, 2 bars or bars can settle.

However, there are exceptions where it is possible to derogate from this limitation in the following 2 cases:

  • On transfer of a beverage outlet in another municipality, in the case where the authorization for the transfer has been approved by the prefect.
  • If the installation takes place in a city or town tourist municipality. The number of authorized drinking establishments is then defined by decree.
Who shall I contact

There are places in the public space where it is forbidden to open a flow of alcohol.

These are zones created for protect the health of minors and consumers.

It's about perimeter determined around of the following establishments:

  • Stadium, private or public sports field, swimming pool
  • Hospital, clinic, medical center, addictology care or reception center
  • Leisure center or collective accommodation for young people, educational or training establishment (excluding educational establishments)

Please note

Restaurants that sell alcohol only served during meals are not affected by these prohibitions.

These areas are protected by prefectural decree.

The Prefectural Decree determines the extent of the protection zone and the stopping distance defined from the “protected” establishment.

To inquire, you can contact your prefecture:

Who shall I contact


A beverage outlet that has already been settled in a location, which became a protected area after it was created, has the right to remain open.

Temporary alcohol outlets may be subject topermissions punctual unlicensed mandatory.

Example :

Barnum, kiosk, walking bar in a village festival, in a living room commercial, a fair , an exhibition, etc.

The mayor may grant an authorization punctual for the sale of the following alcohols: wine, beer, cider, perry, fruit liqueur below 18°.

These are alcohols belonging to group 3 of alcoholic beverages which corresponds to license III (referred to as license 3)

Authorization cannot exceed Maximum 48 hours.

This derogation concerns protests following:

  • Sports association: 10 authorizations per year for each
  • Agricultural sector event: 2 authorizations per year per municipality
  • Tourism sector event: 4 per year

Please note

In the departments of Guadeloupe, of the Guiana and the Martinique, these ad hoc authorizations also concern alcohols corresponding to License IV (License 4): the rum mainly. For these ad hoc authorizations, companies and associations may sell beverages and alcoholic beverages without a license.

Who shall I contact

A debit of alcoholic beverages that chooses to open in a protected area despite the prohibition risks a fine of €3,750 and its closure.

Who can help me?

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