Governor signs cocktails-to-go bill

by | May 21, 2020 | Governor, News

From the CPBJ

Governor Wolf has now signed the bill allowing bars and restaurants to sell cocktails-to-go during the COVID-19 shutdown.

The new law is for businesses with valid R licenses from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board that have lost at least 25 percent of their revenue because of the restrictions placed on them because of the pandemic.

The Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association called the signing of House Bill 327 a huge victory for the Pennsylvania hospitality industry, as it will allow restaurants to introduce another profitable revenue stream.

 “This was something we were extremely passionate about and it’s a huge win for our industry”, said Melissa Bova, vice president of government affairs for the PRLA. “Throughout PA alone, there has been a significant revenue loss, with restaurants reporting nearly an 82 percent decline in sales since the beginning of the shutdown. By relaxing laws in order to sell cocktails to go, many restaurants will be given a fighting chance to survive this disruption.”

David Wojnar of the Distilled Spirits Council said he was happy to see the state approve the plan.

“We are thankful Governor Wolf recognizes the need for additional assistance for the hospitality industry during COVID-19 and approved cocktails to-go. This measure will be a valuable economic lifeline that will help Pennsylvania businesses struggling with financial hardships during this pandemic,” he said.

Under the law, bars and restaurants can sell mixed drinks to-go in a sealed container no greater than 64 fluid ounces, including alcohol and mixers in a single transaction.

Of course, while the new law is a help, Wojnar said restaurants and bars will continue to struggle because of restrictions and he said the council will continue to work with the legislature to see if they can find other ways to help assist these businesses with the negative impacts of COVID-19.

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