Outdoor dining with your dog at your side has been a staple of L.A. restaurant patios for years. But it wasn't until today that it was legalized throughout California.

Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada’s “dining with dogs” bill into law. It allows restaurants to open their outdoor dining areas to people who bring their dogs.

However, …


 … restaurants that don't want to have canines next to their outdoor tables can still prohibit them.

In spring the Los Angeles City Council voted to support the bill, noting that it was already legal in L.A. County to bring your dogs to dine outdoors under a policy enacted in 2012.

The bill won't let you demand that a restaurant accept your pet. The law leaves canine policy up to each individual eatery:

What the legislation really does is shield restaurant owners from lawsuits if they decide to allow dogs on their patios, “as long as basic health standards and local ordinances are followed,” says Yamada's office.

The lawmaker says:

It will soon be legal to take your beagle with you to dinner. With Governor Brown’s signature, restaurateurs in California will see more businesses catering to their customers and the canine companions they love. I wish everyone ‘bone-appétit’.


Yes: The law doesn't take effect until January 1.

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