Michigan Senate passes bill extending cocktails to-go permanently

Now that’s the spirit

click to enlarge Bars and restaurants are currently allowed to sell cocktails to-go until Dec. 31, 2025. - Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling
Bars and restaurants are currently allowed to sell cocktails to-go until Dec. 31, 2025.

Cocktails to-go are closer to becoming a permanent staple in Michigan.

By a vote of 37 to 1, the state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would allow bars and restaurants to sell cocktails to-go permanently.

The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that allowed to-go drinks until Jan. 1, 2026.

The idea has become so popular that lawmakers want to extend it permanently.

The drinks must be in sealed containers.

“Cocktails to-go were instrumental in helping many Michigan distilleries navigate and survive the challenges of COVID,” Jon O’Connor, owner of Long Road Distillers and president of the Michigan Craft Distillers Association, said in a statement Friday. “Making permanent cocktails to-go will allow consumers to enjoy safely, comfortably and responsibly from home, the amazing spirits made here in Michigan and will help Michigan distilleries to recover and thrive as hospitality trends continue to change with consumer demands.”

The legislation is helpful because restaurants and bars are still recovering from the pandemic, said Conrad Haremza, Michigan Spirits Association President.

“The hospitality industry has been devastated over the last couple of years, and making consumer-friendly measures like cocktails to-go permanent gives these businesses an opportunity to recover and a sense of stability for the future,” Haremza said.

During the pandemic, more than 35 states allowed to-go cocktails. Since then, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to make to-go cocktails permanent.

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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