Newsom signs bill that will expand restaurants’ ability to sell take-out cocktails with food

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Friday that will expand the right to allow restaurants to sell take-out cocktails as well as take-out food orders.

The law, SB 389, was sponsored by State Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and was designed to continue to help restaurants recover from the negative economic effects of the coronavirus which has severely weakened the entire industry.

As recently as last week, the Fourth Street Social Club in downtown Santa Rosa announced that it would close its doors on Sunday due to losses from COVID-19.

“The ability to sell take-out cocktails is an important step in helping our restaurants, which have been hit hard by the pandemic,” Dodd said in a statement. “This will ensure their recovery, protecting jobs and our economy. “

The bill also applies to bars, breweries and wineries that sell food. The measure will be in effect for five years.

More than 35 states have allowed restaurants to temporarily sell take-out cocktails during the pandemic. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have since passed legislation to make this permanent.

“Take-out cocktails have proven to be an essential part of the survival of businesses during COVID-19 and will only provide increased stability as they strive to get back on their feet,” said Adam Smith, vice-president. -President of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

While take-out cocktails have been remarkable, the biggest trend during the pandemic has been the tremendous growth of canned cocktails with many local distillers such as Giffo, Zaddy’s and Barrel Brothers entering the market.

Also on Friday, Newsom signed another measure, AB 61, which would provide regulatory flexibility for restaurants to expand alfresco dining in parklets and another measure, SB 314, which gives businesses with temporarily expanded premises a deadline of one year grace to apply for a permanent license. expansion.

You can reach editor Bill Swindell at 521-5223 or [email protected] On Twitter @BillSwindell.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement