Varies depending upon license type. Two typical varieties for restaurants are "On-Sale Beer and Wine Eating Place" (original fee is $300) and "On-Sale General Eating Place" (original fee is $12,000). (As of December 2010 - for current information see Fee Schedule on the ABC licensing page.)
Apply for the license in person and allow a minimum of 45 to 50 days to process the application. The law precludes issuance in less than 30 days. The license can average about 75 days for a Person-to-Person transfer, and 90 days for an Original. Circumstances often result in a longer waiting period; therefore, before final approval and issuance of a license, caution should be used regarding extensive financial commitments, plans for grand openings, etc.
Note: If new construction or considerable remodeling is necessary, prior approval under Section 24044 should be sought before beginning any actual work. Only a limited number of permits may be available for a given county.