Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cocktails-to-go bills headed to Whitmer's desk

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2020 at 12:16 PM

click to enlarge A cocktail from Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles. - DAVID RUDOLPH PR
  • David Rudolph PR
  • A cocktail from Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles.
The bar and restaurant industry, hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, could get a boost thanks to a package of bills that would allow them to sell cocktails-to-go in sealed containers that could be consumed at home or in designated outdoor areas.

The bills passed the House on Wednesday and are now headed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk.

House Bill 5811 would amend the Michigan Liquor Control Code to allow, for a period of three years, approved establishments to fill and sell containers with cocktails for off-site consumption. The bill also allows for delivery. House Bill 5781 would allow local governments to designate "a social district" where people can consume alcohol outside.

When the coronavirus crisis hit in March, restaurants were restricted to delivery and carry-out service. Now dine-in service is allowed, but restaurants must operate at a 50% capacity.

Under current law, Michiganders can order unopened bottles of wine or growlers of beer with takeout or delivery, but not cocktails.

Cocktails-to-go are allowed in 30 states plus the District of Columbia. Some states have indicated they would make the laws permanent.

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