A 1939 California law tying the number of liquor licenses for restaurants and bars per county to that county's population had to make an exception for San Francisco. Our impressive number of booze-peddling establishments at the time of the law was already in excess of the number we would have been allotted, a measly 418: Currently there are 812. Thus the existing businesses were grandfathered in, with their liquor licenses transferrable to others. That fixed number of licenses created a hot secondary market for them — they typically sell for more than $300,000. For the first time in 77 years, San Francisco received five new liquor licenses this past fall: State senator Mark Leno had asked for 28 new ones, but settled for five, sold by the ABC for $13,800 directly to businesses and made non-transferable. Today we learn via the Chronicle that another state legislator, state assemblyman and Outer Sunset resident Phil Ting, wanst to push for more new licenses. The stated goal: Bringing business and the cheerful hurly burly of nightlife to neighborhoods like his own, as well as the Bayview and the Excelsior, where drinking establishment are relatively few.

“People in the Sunset, where I live, don’t want to travel all the way downtown if they don’t have to,” Ting tells the Chron, speaking on behalf of constituents like SFist editor Eve Batey who hasn't been east of 9th Ave in years. Ting's bill, which is similar to Leno's before it, proposes 25 new liquor licenses, five distributed by lottery system every year for the next five years. These would be non-transferrable and $13,800 each, as with the five achieved by Leno's legislation.

Ben Van Houten of the city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development stands behind Ting's bill. “This is a type of license that is responsive to the specific needs of San Francisco," he tells the paper, adding that asking for the 25 licenses to be distributed over five years, rather than at once as requested by Leno, is an easier sell. "It’s responding to the committee’s concerns but still advancing toward the same important goals,” says Van Houten.

The Chronicle also has an obligatory quote from the San Rafael alcohol industry watchdog group Alcohol Justice. Guess what: They're against more liquor licenses. “It’s all smoke and mirrors,” Alcohol Justice representative Michael Scippa says to the paper. “There are plenty of places in those neighborhoods to get a drink if you want one.”

Perhaps Scippa knows something we don't? Meanwhile, he and others are kept up at night — or later at night, I should say — by state senator Scott Wiener's bill that would allow, but not require, cities to permit bars to stay open until 4 a.m. rather than observing the statewide last call of 2 a.m. as they do now. That passed committee last month.

Related: Bill Giving Cities Option To Extend Bar Hours To 4 A.M. Passes Committee