California May Allow Take-Out Cocktails To Become Permanent Restaurant Feature


The California pandemic rule permitting restaurants and other establishments to allow alcohol pick-up and to-go sales may become permanent.

The state Assembly will consider a bill this week to allow the provision, which was enacted to provide an additional revenue stream for beleaguered businesses. The state Senate passed the bill on Monday. If the Assembly concurs, it will go to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature into law.

During the pandemic, establishments that offered takeout cocktails also had to sell food. That provision would not be required under SB 398 in its current form.

Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), who introduced the bill, saw making the rule permanent as a “must.”

“If allowing restaurants to sell carry-out cocktails helps keep their doors open, we must do it,” Dodd said in a statement. “This is about preserving jobs and getting our economy back on track.”

About 30 states allowed to-go cocktail sales during the pandemic, and a number of them have now made that rule permanent.

California has 11 of is 58 counties in the red tier, which indicates bars and restaurants that do not serve food have to stay closed. Los Angeles County allowed indoor bar service to resume last week.

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