SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The California Senate approved legislation on Thursday that expanded provisions of a 2021 law that allowed the sale and delivery of to-go cocktails. The bill was approved unanimously, on a 32-0 vote.
The legislation was introduced by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa). It aims to provide financial relief to restaurants and bars, which were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our restaurants and bars were hit hard by the pandemic, and allowing flexibility to sell to-go cocktails has been a lifeline,” Sen. Dodd said. “To ensure a strong recovery and to answer consumer demand, we must expand this successful provision in ways that will make sense and will be beneficial to all. Thanks to my Senate colleagues for seeing the value in this proposal.”
In 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Dodd’s bill allowing to-go alcoholic drinks to be sold as part of take-out food orders. This year’s bill expands that legislation so that consumers can buy to-go drinks without ordering a meal along with it.
It also extends the carry-out cocktail provision to bars and allows cocktails to be delivered from bars and restaurants. To prevent underage drinking, Alcohol Beverage Control will oversee alcohol delivery.
In December 2021, local bar owners told KRON4 that they were not happy with the to-go cocktail law because it required a full meal to accompany a to-go cocktail. It also mandated customers to pick up their drink in person, rather than allowing delivery from third party apps.
“SB 846 (the bill passed Thursday) restores a pre-existing privilege for restaurants, meets consumer demands, and strengthens public safety protocols for the service of alcohol,” said Matt Sutton, senior vice President of government affairs & public policy for the California Restaurant Association.